Director of the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery: Who Is Scott Smithline?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Director Scott Smithline

The new director of the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), Scott R. Smithline, is an environmental lawyer who has split his time between the private and public sectors.

Governor Jerry Brown appointed him this month to replace Caroll Mortensen, who was director since October 2011. Mortensen is now senior environmental specialist in CalRecycle’s Legislative and External Affairs Office, agency spokesperson Mark Oldfield told Resource Recycling.

CalRecycle is best know for administering the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, know as the Bottle Bill program. But it also runs programs for recycling electronic waste, tires, mattresses and carpet, and other hard-to-dispose-of products. CalRecycle has over 741 employees and a budget of $1.5 billion,

Smithline received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law in 2000. He was a fellow at the law school’s Environmental Law and Justice Clinic from 2000 to 2001.

Smithline was an attorney at Lawyers for Clean Water in San Francisco for less than a year in 2001. He moved to Sacramento and became director of legal and regulatory affairs at Californians Against Waste, a non-profit environmental research and advocacy organization, from 2003 to 2008. He served as lead advocate before the California Integrated Waste Management Board, California Air Resources Board, the Attorney General’s Office and CalRecycle.

He was a principal at Smithline Group from 2008 to 2011, during which he was director of Future 500's Global Stakeholder Initiative on Climate Change. He was a consultant at Environmental Science Associates in 2010 and 2011.

Smithline, a Democrat, entered public service in 2011 as assistant director for policy development at CalRecycle. Compensation for his new position, which requires Senate confirmation, is $153,960 a year.

Scott Smithline is credited with co-founding, an online Sacramento directory and promotional site now called DowntownGrid, in 2004 with his wife, Julia Seebach, and Brian Fischer.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Governor Appoints Environmental Champion to Lead CalRecycle (Californians Against Waste)

Governor Appoints CAW's Scott Smithline to CalRecycle! (by Mark Murray, Californians Against Waste)

Calrecycle Makes Change at the Top (Resource Recycling)

Scott Smithline, Director (Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery)

Scott Smithline (LinkedIn)

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