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California Recycled Concrete Bill Passes into Law

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Last week in Sacramento an important piece of legislation passed into law with the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 221, authored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), reinforces the environmental benefits of recycling reclaimed concrete materials when making new concrete. With bipartisan legislative support and the support of the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA), California Construction and Trucking Association and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the law recognizes that reusing and recycling concrete can reduce our landfill waste stream, air pollution and greenhouse gas which reflects positively on our industry.

AB 221 builds upon and updates the provisions in the California Public Resources Code sections 16000-16004 regarding "recycled concrete". It recognizes the fact that global warming and sustainability issues have taken on greater importance and that the California Green Building Code has been adopted. The changes are intended to keep the codes current and to encourage recycling, re-use and conservation of reclaimed resources which are voluntary provisions.

These are the updates made by AB 221: 
• Facilitating recycling of concrete materials in concrete production reduces waste, truck trips and emissions while advancing sustainable practices in concrete manufacture;
• Recycling of aggregates from concrete conserves the natural resources of aggregates;
• Recycling of water conserves water resources;
• Recycling of returned fresh concrete maximizes the reuse of the natural resources of aggregates, water and cement, and conserves embodied energy from concrete production; and
• Using the term "returned fresh concrete," which means this term is now in statute, and parallels the use of this term in draft specification and code changes being worked on by Caltrans and ASTM.

NRMCA will develop model legislation based on the success of this effort for potential use in other states.

The exact language of the AB 221 legislation can be seen here. For more information, contact NRMCA's Tien Peng at or 206-913-8535.

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Fritz-Pak Corporation
Marcotte Systems Ltd.
MPAQ Automation
Putzmeister America, Inc.
McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Inc.
900 Spring Street
Silver Spring, MD, 20910
Phone: 301-587-1400 Toll Free: 888-84 NRMCA (846-7622)