Want to get your hands on something other than a keyboard? While the computer age has become the central figure of the information age; so is the realization that resources are limitless – given we green the economy by recycling them. California’s ‘75% initiative’ is working on just that.

The legislation behind the initiative provides that the State Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) help ensure that 75% of solid waste be recycled, composted or source reduced by 2020. While not required, an increase in local recycling efforts can only help achieve that goal.

According to CalRecycle, California leads the nation with an approximate 65 percent diversion rate for all materials, and today recycling supports more than 140,000 green jobs in California.

CalRecycle Public Information Officer Lance Klug says the potential employment impact of California’s 75% Initiative per an October 2013 Legislative Report, citing a 2011 Tellus/SRM study says as many as 100,000 jobs or more could be created if California achieves this goal.

Will Sacramento County meet the initiative? Doug Eubanks, Recycling Coordinator, Sacramento County Department of Waste Management & Recycling, said, “Yes, I am confident the unincorporated county will meet and likely exceed the 75% goal to divert recyclable materials that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill.” The Department has partnerships and contracts in place to help achieve this goal.”

Recycling and waste reduction for the six county Sacramento region is tracked as one sector of the green economy by Career GPS that covers activities related to solid and waste water management, and the reduction and processing recyclable materials.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports the recycling occupations are drivers, sorters, mechanics, technicians, machinists, maintenance workers and material recovery facility managers. Sales representatives, or account managers, focus on finding purchasers for recycled materials that may again be re-used as raw products for example, glues and adhesives as raw materials for dust suppression products or sealants. Drivers are referred to as refuse and recyclable material collectors and expected to become employed faster than average between 2012 – 2022 at rates of (15% to 21%).

Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been an educator and consultant who is currently an analyst regarding land and other public information records. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for Examiner.com since May of 2010. Find her work in several sections of the publication. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner 

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