California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) brings together the state’s recycling and waste management programs to move the state towards a circular economy that reduces waste and reuses all materials.
Through landmark initiatives like the Integrated Waste Management Act and Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, California works toward a society that uses less, recycles more, and takes resource conservation to higher and higher levels.
CalRecycle’s Mission: Protecting California’s environment and climate for the health and prosperity of future generations through the reduction, reuse and recycling of California resources, environmental education, disaster recovery and the transition from a disposable to a fully circular economy.
Program Descriptions and Responsibilities
Administration, Finance, and Information Technology Services Division
The Administration, Finance, and Information Technology Services Division provides centralized support and management services to CalRecycle, including fiscal and personnel management, employee-employer relations, business services, and information technology. In addition, the division oversees projects such as the telecommuting program, employee recognition award programs, upward mobility, and career related training programs.
The division comprises three branches:
- The Administrative Services Branch
- The Fiscal Services Branch
- The Information Technology Services Branch
The Administrative Services Branch serves as the focal point for all non-fiscal administrative functions including human resources, business administration, and health and safety. Staff within the branch are responsible for building and property management, classification analysis, disability management, equal employment opportunity, examinations, fleet, health and safety, purchasing, training, transactions, and wellness.
The Fiscal Services Branch is responsible for maintaining the fiscal accountability of the department. This includes budgeting resources, forecasting revenues, and accounting for expenditures, which allows for timely management reports on the financial position of the organization for decision-making purposes and ensures the department has the resources available to meet its core mission.
The Information Technology Services Branch designs, implements, and maintains CalRecycle’s information technology systems; provides in-depth technical assistance in operating systems and internal and network architectures; provides user assistance; manages hardware and software inventories; performs activities to support organizations, control agencies, and other mandatory administrative requirements; maintains the department’s intranet and public web presence, and addresses organizational, programmatic, and user requirements through software application development and maintenance services.
For more information on programs managed by this division, see the following on our website:
Materials Management and Local Assistance Division
- Grant and Payment Programs
- Local Government Central
- Business Assistance
- Electronic Product Management
- Organic Materials Management
- Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Reponsibility
- Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
- Used Oil Recycling Program
- Household Hazardous Waste
- Tire Recycling, Markets, and Business Assistance
- Recycling Market Development Zones/Loan Program
- Construction and Demolition Diversion
- Green Building
- Climate Change
Waste Permitting, Compliance, and Mitigation (WPCM) Division
The Waste Permitting, Compliance, and Mitigation (WPCM) Division is responsible for CalRecycle’s solid waste, waste tire, recycled content products, and local government regulatory mandates and activities. This division ensures that:
- Solid waste and waste tire processing and disposal site permits are processed and issued as required.
- Waste tire haulers are registered as required.
- Solid waste landfills maintain the appropriate level of financial assurances.
- Solid waste disposal sites are properly closed and maintained.
- Solid waste management and waste tire facilities and operations are inspected, and noncompliant facilities and operations are under enforcement actions and penalized as appropriate.
- Local governments not making a good faith effort to implement their unique waste diversion programs are evaluated and placed on compliance orders and penalized as appropriate.
- Minimum recycled content in products (rigid plastic packaging containers (RPPC), plastic trash bags, and newsprint) and producer responsibility programs (paint and carpet) are certified in compliance or penalized as appropriate.
- All hazards created by the illegal or inappropriate disposal of solid waste or tires are mitigated to protect public health and safety.
- Local enforcement agencies are properly trained, certified, designated, and evaluated, and if warranted, placed on work plans or decertified as appropriate.
The division includes three branches:
- Engineering Support Branch
- Permitting and Assistance Branch
- Waste Evaluation & Enforcement Branch
The Engineering Support Branch reviews and approves solid waste and tire facility closure/postclosure maintenance plans to ensure state standards are effectively implemented. The branch provides engineering technical support to other department branches for solid waste, climate change, bioenergy, and illegal dumping issues. It oversees cleanup and remediation programs to mitigate hazards created by closed, illegal, and abandoned solid waste and tire disposal sites and provides assistance to local enforcement agencies (LEA) on investigations and enforcement.
The Permitting and Assistance Branch reviews all solid waste permit applications submitted by the LEAs of proposed permits per statutory and regulatory requirements. For those local governments where an LEA is not designated and for waste tire facilities, the branch assumes responsibility for all aspects of the permitting process. Branch staff evaluates the adequacy of financial assurances for closures, post-closures, and operating liability for solid waste landfills.
The Waste Evaluation and Enforcement Branch oversees CalRecycle’s compliance and enforcement activities related to solid waste and waste tire facilities, tire haulers, minimum content in products, and producer responsibility programs. The branch conducts oversight inspections at landfills every 18 months to ensure state standards and permits are effectively implemented and takes ensures LEAs take appropriate enforcement action. The branch assumes the role of the enforcement agency for local governments without one. The branch also certifies and evaluates LEAs, works with Tire Enforcement Agencies, and evaluates local government implementation of their waste diversion programs.
For more information on programs managed by this division, visit:
The Office of Audits is charged with protecting the fiscal integrity of various CalRecycle funds by conducting compliance and financial-related audits of program participants. Audits are conducted under the authority of the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, the Integrated Waste Management Act, or other authorizing statutes.
The Office of Audits consists of one Northern California and two Southern California field offices. All offices conduct audits and reviews utilizing a risk-based approach, focusing on identifying significant errors, irregularities, and potential fraud. The program areas subject to audit include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Beverage manufacturers, beverage distributors
- E-Waste recyclers and collectors
- Grant recipients of programs including, but not limited to: Household Hazardous Waste, Local Conservation Corps, Tire Recycling, and Used Oil Recycling
- Extended producer responsibility organizations (i.e., carpet, paint, and mattress product stewardship programs)
- Oil Fee Payers and Used Oil Payments program participants
- Contracts for wildfire debris removal and information technology services
To maintain standards of quality audit work, all audit work is subject to two levels of managerial review to provide assurance that audits are performed in accordance with professional standards as well as legal and regulatory requirements.
In addition to the external audit responsibilities, the Office of Audits is responsible for ensuring CalRecycle meets the requirements of the State Leadership Accountability Act and oversees all coordination activities for audits being conducted of CalRecycle. As applicable, internal audit responsibilities are handled through an interagency agreement with the California Department of Finance (e.g., audits of CalRecycle’s administration of the Beverage Container Recycling Fund).
Legal Affairs Office
The Legal Affairs Office provides CalRecycle staff with support on legal history, actions, analysis, and advice. The office supervises all litigation and other legal actions entered into by the department.
The Legal Affairs Office provides the following broad categories of assistance:
- Provides legal services necessary to implement the programs mandated by The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939, Sher, Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989) and subsequent statutes related to integrated waste management as well as the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (AB 2020, Margolin, Chapter 1290, Statutes of 1986) and subsequent statutes related to recycling. Recommends positions that will allow CalRecycle to implement its policies.
- Advises regarding legal requirements related to development and adoption of regulations, including requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and procedures of the Office of Administrative Law.
- Reviews contracts entered into by CalRecycle and advise staff regarding contract requirements and procedures when necessary.
- Represents CalRecycle in personnel actions and provides legal counsel on personnel matters, including adverse actions and affirmative action, as well as in matters concerning labor relations, including bargaining unit contracts and grievances.
- Advises on conflict of interest, incompatible activities, and public records request laws.
- The Attorney General represents CalRecycle in litigation brought on behalf of or against the department. CalRecycle has the authority to take enforcement action independent of the local enforcement agencies. Through the Attorney General’s office, CalRecycle may pursue both civil and criminal penalties for violations of State standards for solid waste facilities. CalRecycle enforcement authority also covers statewide planning requirements that local governments are responsible for implementing.
- Responds to legal inquiries from the CalEPA, other State control agencies, and affected parties regarding the responsibilities and authority of CalRecycle as well as waste management law and regulations.
- Provides assistance and coordination by consulting with counsel from the financial community regarding integrated waste management project finance and with private industry counsel regarding facility permitting and regulatory compliance.
For more information on programs managed by this office, see the following on our website:
Electronic Service of Process
CalRecycle Legal Affairs Office may receive service of process documents and subpoenas electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that our authority is limited to accepting service of process only on behalf of CalRecycle and its divisions and CalRecycle officers named in their official capacity.
Documents and subpoenas directed to the “State of California” must be served on the Office of the Attorney General (the Attorney General’s Sacramento office is located at 1300 I Street).
You are encouraged to verify that CalRecycle Legal Affairs Office is the proper office for service by contacting Summer Hazlett at 916-341-6528.
If we determine that CalRecycle Legal Affairs Office has the authority to accept service, we will so inform you and the issuing attorney via a responding email acknowledging that we have consented to receive service electronically.
Legislative Affairs Office
The Legislative Affairs Office provides thorough and objective analyses of State and federal legislation with potential direct or indirect impacts on CalRecycle programs. The section also facilitates communication between CalRecycle and the Legislature.
While identifying and communicating various perspectives on the policy and programmatic impacts of legislation, the section offers technical assistance and legislative information to staff, the Legislature, the Governor, the regulated community, and the public. Additionally, the section provides up-to-date information on legislation that affects CalRecycle and its programs and policies via its legislative website.
For more information on programs managed by this office, see Current Bills Related to Recycling and Waste Management.
Policy Development and Analysis Office
The Policy Development and Analysis Office acts as CalRecycle’s policy analysis and development nexus, research and data gathering arm, and technical information clearinghouse. Through collaboration with CalRecycle staff and our stakeholders, the office develops and promotes effective integrated waste management policies in an atmosphere that supports science-based, data-driven decision-making.
The office is charged with gathering foundational information on California’s waste stream (types, amounts, facilities, and flows) to form the scientific basis for meaningful analysis and sound policy development. The office also serves as an information clearinghouse for technical internal and external requests on California’s waste stream.
CalRecycle Delegation of Authority
The CalRecycle Director may choose to delegate certain responsibilities to other department designees. A Delegation of Authority (updated February 7, 2020) identifies which CalRecycle staff members have the authority to execute certain documents and decisions on the director’s behalf.