Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
Public Funds, Training, and Incentives to Fuel a Greener Recovery
California recycling manufacturers, cities, counties, haulers, and businesses can access millions of dollars in public and private funding for infrastructure to reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions in their communities. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has compiled potential funding sources, employee training assistance, and other financial incentives that manufacturers and others can use for:
- Edible Food Recovery Programs
- Intermediate and Secondary Recycling Manufacturing Infrastructure
- In-Vessel Digestion Facilities
- Composting Facilities
- Reuse Projects
In addition to financial resources, CalRecycle is providing tools, training, and education to support stakeholders who are taking vital steps to fight climate change and increase green jobs in California.
“Lowering climate emissions and increasing remanufacturing of recycled materials will fight the climate crisis while rebuilding from the COVID-19 downturn,” said CalRecycle Director Rachel Machi Wagoner. “CalRecycle is working to connect manufacturers with programs that make recycling innovation easier.”
Recyclable materials that can be remanufactured into beneficial products include:
- Food waste
- Green waste
- Construction and demolition materials
- Recycled fibers, plastics, glass, and metals.
CalRecycle offers a number of grants to help public and private entities safely manage and recycle materials.
CalRecycle's greenhouse gas emission reduction grants are funded by California Climate Investments (CCI).
Eligible applicants vary depending on the program but may include:
- Local Governments
- State Agencies
- College Campuses (UC, CSU, and Community Colleges)
- Native American Tribes
CalRecycle has five categories of CCI grants:
- Organics—Composting and digestion projects
- Recycled Fiber Plastic and Glass—Intermediate commodities and recycling manufacturing projects
- Food Waste Prevention and Rescue—Food waste prevention and rescue projects
- Reuse—Reusable food service ware, packaging, transportation, and wood salvage
- Community Composting—Community-based composting projects
Eligible costs and caps vary, but include funding for construction of facilities, equipment, machinery, and personnel.
Grants for Lower-Air-Polluting Equipment
More than $60 million in grant funding for cleaner-than-required engines, equipment, and other sources of air pollution is available through the California Air Resources Board’s Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. The Air Resources Board collaborates with local air districts and other stakeholders to set guidelines and ensure the program reduces pollution and provides cleaner air.
Projects that reduce emissions from heavy-duty on- and off-road equipment qualify. This includes:
- Trucks over a 14,000 pound gross vehicular weight rating (or GVWR)
- Off-road equipment such as construction or farm equipment
- Vessels and locomotives
- Forklifts; stationary agricultural equipment
- Other agricultural sources.
For more information on the Carl Moyer Program, contact CARB’s Diesel Hotline 1-866-6DIESEL or contact your local air district.
Grants for Cleaner Transportation
Through the Clean Transportation Program, the California Energy Commission invests up to $100 million annually in projects that support adoption of cleaner transportation from alternative and renewable fuels such as:
Funding for Employee Training
The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to upgrade workers’ skills with training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. Businesses determine their own training needs and how to provide training. ETP staff can assist in applying for funds and taking part in the program.
CalRecycle offers two loan programs:
Both programs provide loans of up to $2 million to support new or expanded organics infrastructure, such as composting and anaerobic digestion facilities, as well as for facilities that manufacture fiber, plastic, or glass waste materials into beneficial products.
For more information about the RMDZ Loan Program, including eligible project types, download the RMDZ Eligibility Criteria.
Loans for Low-Pollution Businesses
The California Pollution Control Financing Authority, part of the State Treasurer’s Office, administers high-impact financing programs to help stakeholders access private capital, including encouraging financial institutions to make loans to small businesses. It also supports building improved infrastructure for zero- and partial-emission vehicles. For more information, visit:
- California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority
- California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission
- Pollution Control Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program
- California Capital Access Program
- Collateral Support Program
California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank)
The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank has broad authority to:
- Issue tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds
- Provide financing to public agencies
- Provide credit enhancements
- Acquire or lease facilities
- Leverage state and federal funds
IBank’s current programs include the Infrastructure State Revolving Fund (ISRF) Loan Program, California Lending for Energy and Environmental Needs (CLEEN) Center, the Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan fund, the Small Business Finance Center, and the Bond Financing Program. You can find more information on each program below.
Low-Cost Financing for Infrastructure and Expansion
The Infrastructure State Revolving Fund loan program is authorized to directly provide low-cost public financing for a wide variety of public infrastructure and economic expansion projects to state and local government entities, including:
- Nonprofit Organizations Sponsored by Public Agencies
ISRF financing from $50,000 to $25 million is available with loan terms for the useful life of the project, for a maximum of 30 years.
Loans for Energy and Environmental Needs
California Lending for Energy and Environmental Needs (CLEEN) provides direct public financing to municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals to help meet the state’s goals for greenhouse gas reduction, water conservation, and environmental preservation.
This includes two programs:
- The Statewide Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP)
- The Light Emitting Diode Street Lighting Program (LED)
Financing from $500,000 to $30 million is through a direct loan from IBank.
Statewide Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP)
A CLEEN Center Program for small, medium, and large energy efficiency upgrades and projects for California’s public municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals, SWEEP Projects include comprehensive efficiency improvements to new and existing facilities that save energy.
Light Emitting Diode Street Lighting Program (LED Program)
The LED Program is a CLEEN Center Program for the installation of LED streetlights for public municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals. LED streetlight projects are deemed SWEEP projects for purposes of the CLEEN criteria.
COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program
The IBank Small Business Finance Center has a loan guarantee program for disaster relief that can help small businesses experiencing COVID-related economic damage.
Loan guarantees provided for the Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program help overcome barriers to capital for small businesses that do not qualify for federal disaster funds, including businesses in low-income and immigrant communities.
Loans for Climate Technology and Infrastructure
The Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund (signed into the 2020-2021 proposed budget) is a revolutionary loan fund to streamline implementation of technologically proven climate solutions.
The program features flexible, low-cost credit and credit support to:
- Stimulate commercial investment in infrastructure projects
- Leverage grant programs to advance technologies to market readiness
Loans for Sustainable Infrastructure and Equipment
Generate Capital is a San Francisco-based investment firm that owns and operates sustainable infrastructure projects used by companies, schools, and cities across the U.S. and Canada. Since its inception in 2014, the firm has invested in more than 2,000 projects that other larger infrastructure investors, like private-equity firms and banks, might avoid because they may be too risky or too small, or because they lack operational expertise.
Projects backed by Generate have been as small in value as thousands of dollars and have included residential community solar developments, urban farms, waste-recycling plants, and other sustainable infrastructure from electric buses to geothermal power.
The firm has teamed up with some high-profile partners on larger deals as well. For more information, call 415-360-3063 or email email@example.com.
Loans for Anaerobic Digestion-to-Energy and Power-to-Gas Projects
StormFisher develops and operates facilities that recycle food, waste, energy and water across North America. The company specializes in organic waste-to-energy projects which typically use anaerobic digestion (AD) to convert organic waste to biogas. It also develops distributed and utility-scale power to gas projects, using low-carbon power sources to produce green hydrogen or renewable natural gas.
StormFisher partners with a variety of institutions, including municipalities, investors, technology providers, and other developers to manage and operate projects after development.
For more information, call 628-222-6278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loans for Recycling Manufacturing, Anaerobic Digestion, and Composting Projects
Live Oak Bank is a niche lender based in Wilmington, N.C., with a national footprint. It is the largest SBA 7(a) lender by volume in the United States. The project finance team has a special focus on deploying capital to rural communities for infrastructure improvements and renewable energy generation.
The team provides senior debt for growth capital, construction, and permanent financing for a variety of projects in the circular economy including solar, wind, hydroelectric, hydrogen, energy efficiency, anaerobic digestion, landfill gas, composting, and other types of advanced recycling facilities.
LiveOak has a number of financing opportunities in industry-focused areas such as:
- Bioenergy—Waste-to-fuel systems, waste-to-energy technologies and bioproducts such as anaerobic digesters, landfill gas systems, biomass to energy, and biorefineries
- Energy and Infrastructure—Community facilities such as health care, education, public safety, and others. Live Oak also provides up to 40-year fixed-rate financing for water, waste, and stormwater projects for rural and unincorporated communities.
- Solar—Utility-scale commercial and industrial solar, community solar, and energy storage project financing.
Loans for Building a Circular Economy
Closed Loop Partners works to connect municipalities, entrepreneurs, and investors. It offers several funding programs, including the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund, which provides zero-interest loans to municipalities and below-market-rate loans to private companies to improve recycling infrastructure across four primary categories:
- Processing or Reclamation
- End Product Manufacturing
Typical loan size is $3 million to $5 million over a three-to-ten-year term. Each asset-based loan is secured by collateral. The company invests in best-in-class operators who are leaders in their industry. Applications are evaluated on criteria including greenhouse gas emission reduction, material diversion from landfills, economic benefits to the community, and other factors.
Closed Loop Ventures Group partners with companies that reduce waste and increase the use of recycled material in supply chains within the sectors of plastics and packaging, food and agriculture, fashion and apparel, and transparency and logistics.
The company can provide up to $500,000 in initial investment rounds, and tries to continue supporting companies after the first investment with additional capital, connections to industry partners, and support from the broader Closed Loop Partners network.
Financial Development Corporations
California Financial Development Corporation supports small businesses and stimulates economic growth in underserved communities.
For more information:
- Small Business Development Corporation of Orange County
- California Capital Financial Development Corporation
Small Business Loans
CDC Small Business Finance is a nonprofit lender providing capital to small businesses so they can expand, grow, and create jobs in California, Arizona, and Nevada. CDC has provided more than $18 billion in loans to more than 11,000 small businesses.
Financing for Anaerobic Digestion Projects at Wastewater Treatment Plants
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program offers low-cost financing for a variety of projects to clean up and maintain high water quality, including funds for anaerobic digesters at wastewater treatment plants, landfill leachate treatments, and more.
The program can finance projects from less than $1 million to more than $100 million.
Payments for Recycling Plastic Beverage Containers
The Plastic Market Development Payment program was created to develop California’s market for recycled empty plastic beverage containers using unredeemed deposit money.
Up to $150 per ton may be paid to:
- A certified processor who washes and produces flakes or pellets
- A product manufacturer who uses the plastic material from the certified processor to manufacture a plastic product in the state.
To be eligible for payment, certified processors and product manufacturers must each submit a Plastic Market Development Claim Form along with their invoices for each calendar quarter in which payment is claimed.
For more information visit Plastics Programs and Resources.
Payments for Recycling Tires
The Tire Incentive Program provides a reimbursement (as an incentive payment program) to qualifying businesses that use recycled crumb rubber in eligible products or substitute crumb rubber for virgin rubber, plastic, or other raw materials in products. The program’s goal is to increase demand for crumb rubber and promote higher-value products.
Business Development Assistance
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-BIZ) offers a range of no-cost consultation services to business owners, including:
- Retention and Expansion Services
- Site Selection
- Permit Assistance
- Regulatory Guidance
- Small Business Assistance
- International Trade Development
- Assistance with State Government
Income Tax Credit Program—California Competes
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit offered to businesses that want to locate in California or stay and grow in California.
Businesses of any industry, size, or location compete for more than $180 million available in tax credits by applying during one of three application periods each year.
Applicants are evaluated on 12 different factors, including number of full-time jobs created, amount of investment, and strategic importance to the state or region.
Corporate Income Tax Credit for Research and Development
Manufacturers and certain researchers and developers may qualify for a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing and research and development equipment purchases and leases. The credit is based on the federal research credit and for qualified research activities in California.
For more information on how to file a claim, visit the California Franchise Tax Board.
Sales and Use Tax Exemption on Equipment Purchases
Partial Sales and Use Tax Exemption applies only to the state sales and use tax rate. This exemption is administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and must be claimed when purchasing equipment.
California’s Employment Development Department
The Employment Development Department offers businesses a variety of services and programs at no cost designed to strengthen California’s economy.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit has two purposes:
- To promote hiring members of specific groups.
- To provide employers who hire these individuals a federal tax credit of up to $9,600.
Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing program as a temporary alternative to layoffs if their production or services have been reduced.
Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program
The Pollution Control Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program provides private activity tax-exempt bond financing to California businesses for the acquisition, construction, or installation of qualified pollution control, waste disposal, and waste recovery facilities, and the acquisition and installation of new equipment.
Financing is performed in conjunction with allocation from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee. The allocation is required by federal tax law for private activity tax-exempt bonds to be issued.
Tax-exempt bond financing provides qualified borrowers with lower-interest costs than are available through conventional financing mechanisms.
Tools to Measure and Communicate Project Impact to Investors
Named after philanthropist Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock’s nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR) is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity and its quest to innovate. Winrock believes that climate change will have a profound impact on the poorest populations and the most fragile ecosystems around the world and that markets are the most effective path to mobilize actions to reduce emissions.
The Green Finance Impact Program offers bond issuers a simple and standardized way to quantify the environmental benefits of the projects they finance and streamlines the process of communicating their impact to investors in the capital markets. This helps to assuage investor concerns of greenwashing and can help issuers get a broader audience and more buyers for their bonds.
ACR started with methods for the waste sector, specifically the diversion of organic material from landfills for anaerobic digestion and waste. While its program targets issuers of municipal bonds, ACR’s methods are equally applicable to private project developers making investments in this type of infrastructure.
For more information, visit ACR’s capital markets page.
California's Climate Fight
California is leading the charge to combat the climate crisis and fuel local, green growth through increased recycling and remanufacturing. We urge recycling manufacturers, local jurisdictions, and businesses to research any of these programs that might apply to their needs.
CalRecycle will continue to support and guide stakeholders as we take steps to build an economy that maximizes recycling and reuse of resources.Posted on In the Loop by Linda Mumma on Mar 10, 2021
Plastic Recycling Gets a Legal Boost: World’s Highest Standard for Recycled Content Could Drive Up Demand
California just took an historic step to combat plastic pollution and accelerate the state’s transition away from fossil fuels to a cleaner, green economy. Under a first-in-the-nation law, the state will require new water, soda, and other beverage bottles to contain 50 percent recycled plastic by 2030.
The bold new requirements in AB 793 (Ting, Chapter 115, Statutes of 2020) make California’s minimum recycled plastic content standards the strongest in the world, advancing the state’s mission to:
Create strong domestic markets for recycled materials. This will increase the demand for recyclable plastic from manufacturers, giving it more value and lowering how much of it ends up polluting the state and filling landfills.
Reduce dependence on new plastic. Since plastic is made from oil and never biodegrades (it only breaks into toxic microplastics), the law will help California fast-track climate progress and create less toxicity in the air and water.
“California has long led the way on bold solutions in the climate space, and the steps we take today bring us closer to our ambitious goals,” said Governor Newsom when he signed the legislation. “I thank the Legislature for taking these important steps to protect the planet and public health.”
Beverage Container Recycling Boost
The minimum recycled content standards for plastic beverage containers subject to California Refund Value (CRV) could also help improve profits for beverage container recycling centers by greatly increasing demand for recyclable plastic.
“Higher scrap values for recycled plastic due to increased demand for the material will help California recyclers impacted by changes in global prices for recyclable materials,” said Ken DaRosa, acting director for California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
In 2018, China implemented “National Sword,” a combination of policies aimed at limiting contamination in recyclable materials by restricting imports of those materials. The resulting declines in global scrap market values, coupled with domestic beverage container market shifts toward low-value plastic and away from higher-value aluminum, have challenged the business model of traditional recycling centers.
Plastic Pollution Solution
Manufacturers often find it cheaper to use new plastic compared to recycled plastic because of lower oil prices in recent years. This has been exacerbated further by reduced demand for oil during to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, California sold beverages in 12.6 billion plastic CRV containers. An average of 15 percent minimum recycled content was used to make those bottles, according to data reported to CalRecycle by beverage manufacturers. Increasing the amount of recycled plastic used in the manufacturing of beverage containers will help increase demand for recycling and make California more self-sufficient and its economy more circular, while reducing the state’s reliance on fossil fuel-based manufacturing sources.
“Limiting California’s dependency on new plastic will conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that come from mining and refining new raw materials,” added DaRosa.
California’s New Standards
The new law establishes standards for recycled content in California Redemption Value (CRV) plastic beverage containers sold in California. Manufacturers will be required to use at least:
15 percent recycled plastic in new containers by 2022.
25 percent recycled plastic in new containers by 2025.
50 percent recycled plastic in new containers by 2030.
AB 793 grants CalRecycle the ability to review and possibly reduce the minimum content standards to ensure they are achievable. Beverage manufacturers have the right to petition the director once per year to review and adjust the requirements.
The law gives CalRecycle the authority to conduct audits and investigations to ensure the standards are met. Beverage manufacturers that fail to achieve the requirements are subject to a 20-cent penalty for each pound short of the mandated targets.
All penalties go directly into a new Recycling Enhancement Penalty Account to support the recycling, infrastructure, collection, and processing of plastic beverage containers in California. For more information on implementation of AB 793, please sign up for the Beverage Container Recycling listserv here: https://www2.calrecycle.ca.gov/Listservs/Subscribe/132Posted on In the Loop by Linda Mumma on Oct 20, 2020
Santa Barbara’s Ortega Ridge Road is no longer in danger of washing away thanks to 80,000 recycled waste tires. Like many paved pathways that curve and bend along with California’s rugged terrain, the ground beneath the road absorbed water in the rainy season - undermining its stability and causing the asphalt to crack, sink, and slide down the hillside. At one point, the road was reduced to just one safe lane.
Now, thanks to an innovative new road repair technique, Ortega Ridge Road is stable, safe, and a model for what’s possible in areas prone to landslides.
A First for California
With grant assistance and technical guidance from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), Santa Barbara County rebuilt Ortega Ridge Road in 2019 using more than 80,000 recycled tires that were shredded and processed into Tire-Derived Aggregate (TDA). The highly permeable fill material allows water to drain through it (unlike conventional soil)– avoiding excess weight that often causes these types of roadways to wash away.
The Ortega Ridge Road repair was the first infrastructure project in California to use TDA material in this type of civil engineering application.
CalRecycle Funding Stopped the Cycle of Failure
Santa Barbara County spent decades on this problem. “We were looking for a solution for this continually failing road,” says Chris Doolittle, an engineer geologist with Santa Barbara County. “It had been failing for 20 years at a minimum.” Over and over again, crews tried the more traditional repair technique of laying down new asphalt – one layer after another - only to watch the road degrade again.
“We had a good relationship with CalRecycle and determined this site would be a really good candidate for a pilot project,” Doolittle recalls.
In March of 2018, CalRecycle awarded Santa Barbara County $158,241 in funding from its Tire-Derived Aggregate Grant Program to purchase the recycled tire fill material. Armed with research from the University of California San Diego, which provided engineering data for the project design, CalRecycle worked alongside the county and engineering contractor GHD Services to design and construct a more eco-friendly and long-lasting repair on a 225-foot section of Ortega Ridge Road.
Tire-derived aggregate, made from 810 tons of California waste tires, was used to backfill a retaining wall composed of large, rock-filled welded wire baskets (called gabions) to replace failed soil and provide lateral support to the reconstructed embankment. The repair resulted in a more permanent repair, saved the county permitting time, money for easements, construction costs and expensive road materials.
“CalRecycle provided expert support,” notes CalRecycle senior waste management engineer William Heung. “As a result, public works was able to open a safe, stable roadway to the public more quickly and inexpensively than traditional methods, with the environmental benefit of reducing the number of used tires buried in landfills.”
There’s an Award for That!
The Ortega Ridge Road repair earned the 2020 Outstanding Local Streets and Road Repair Project award from the County Engineers Association of California (CEAC).
“What we want is to see something that is out-of-the-box thinking and innovative,” explained CEAC President Rick Tippett, also the director of transportation for Trinity County. “What this award is intended to do is share success, so other agencies will take those ideas back to their communities.”
Project leaders are hopeful a recognition like this will encourage other local cities and counties to consider the use of TDA and this groundbreaking engineering technique to improve local infrastructure and protect public safety. “We would like to see more of this type of project around the state,” says Heung. “It is a superior alternative material to other products out there and a great use for California’s scrap tires.”
Longer Lasting Roads with Little Environmental Impact
Tire-Derived Aggregate is a smart, cost-effective way to repurpose some of the 51 million waste tires that Californians generate every year. Beneficial uses for this material include:
- Lightweight, permeable backfill that’s lighter than gravel and more permeable than soil
- A low-cost option to reduce train noise. When placed under tracks, TDA reduces the vibration and noise that is often a nuisance to those living nearby.
- Retaining wall backfill, particularly in areas prone to landslides. Because of TDA’s lightweight properties, retaining walls can be designed using less reinforcing steel.
- Landfill gas collection trenches. The high porosity of TDA makes it an excellent material for filling landfill gas collection trenches that transport methane, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide.
CalRecycle’s Tire-Derived Aggregate Grant Program supports projects that use recycled waste tires in place of conventional construction materials for civil engineering applications such as retaining wall backfill, landslide stabilization, vibration mitigation, and various landfill uses. The unique engineering properties of shredded waste tires allow for free-draining, lightweight, and typically less expensive solutions for these types of projects.
Posted on In the Loop by Chris McSwain on Jul 20, 2020
- Since 2011, CalRecycle has awarded $5,582,126 in TDA grants to 28 projects statewide.
- Grants are funded through a portion of the $1.75 fee consumers pay on each new tire purchased in California.
- For more information about CalRecycle’s waste tire management grants, including application criteria and maximum award amounts, see our Tire Recycling, Cleanup, and Enforcement Grants webpage.
- Get direct notifications about funding availability, applicant and project eligibility, and application due dates by joining CalRecycle’s Tire-Derived Aggregate listserv.