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San Diego zero-waste prop. could constrain consumers, businesses

Recycling and conservation campaigns in some form have been engrained in many of us since our youth. These campaigns are often designed with the environment in mind, and many people believe that these efforts make a difference in the amount of waste we use. However, many efforts by communities result in businesses and consumers needing to comply with increasingly expensive regulations.

Now, the San Diego City Council's Natural Resources and Culture Committee is looking to pass a zero-waste proposal. This proposal would require the city to divert 100 percent of its waste by 2040. The state of California already has a regulation requiring 75 percent diversion from landfills by the year 2020.

As of last year, the city was diverting 68 percent of its waste. When cities make changes such as this, more regulations might be pushed on corporations and consumers, alike. This would help the city achieve its goal, while pushing a large part of the cost onto corporations and consumers. This could come in the form of sorting through trash before it is collected and other requirements.

It is important that companies understand environmental law and compliance. Speaking with an experienced attorney in San Diego can help a corporation ensure they are complying with laws and also defend against laws that might interrupt or severely damage a business. While considering the environment is important, unnecessary regulation can lead to increased costs for businesses, and vague regulations can make it difficult for businesses to remain in compliance with laws.

Source: KPBS, "Breaking Down San Diego's Propoesed Zero Waste Initiative," Maureen Cavanaugh, et al., Nov. 7, 2013

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