California AB 221 emphasizes how concrete recycling benefits air quality, which reflects positively on the industry.

August 30, 2013

AB 221 (Quirk-Silva), which was signed into law on Monday. The bill builds upon and updates the provisions in the Public Resources Code sections 16000-16004 regarding “recycled concrete” that were originally enacted in 2005 by SB 574 (Wolk). The up-dates in AB 221 address the fact that global warming and sustainability issues have taken on greater importance since 2005 (as indicated by AB 32, SB 375, and other legislation and policies) and that the California Green Building Code has been adopted since then. So, the changes are intended to keep current and explain more clearly how re-use and recycling of reclaimed concrete materials are part of the solution to meeting environmental goals, as well as keep connected to other codes that address recycled concrete.

In addition, Assembly Member Quirk-Silva issued a press release on AB 221 that emphasizes how concrete recycling benefits air quality, which reflects positively on the industry.

These are the changes 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.

Adds reference to the California Green Building Standards Code – this is a key code to encourage recycling, re-use, and conservation of resources, and already includes voluntary provisions regarding use of recycled water and aggregates in concrete. This code is expected to grow and many provisions are likely to become mandatory.

Uses 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.

Changes a reference from the Uniform Building Code to the California Building Code.

AB 221 (PL #2013-154) –

Press Release

Quirk-Silva press release –