Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • Nonprofit Group Works with CalRecycle to Promote Environmental Literacy


    CalRecycle’s Education and the Environment Initiative offers California K-12 teachers a free science and history-social science curriculum that uses the environment as a context for learning. Teachers throughout the state have incorporated the EEI curriculum into their classrooms and harvested content to enrich their science classes and field trips. Behind the scenes, this work is supported by a long-running partnership with Ten Strands, a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental literacy statewide.


    Over the past two years, Ten Strands worked with CalRecycle and the State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER) to have the State Board of Education require textbook publishers to integrate a set of Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) into future science and history-social science textbooks.  This will ensure that all students will explore how humans rely on and influence the natural world as part of their K-12 education. 

    Ten Strands is also involved in a project with the California Department of Education to implement Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. Will Parish, the founder and president of Ten Strands, is the co-chair of a 30-person steering committee charged with this work, and Karen Cowe, Ten Strands’ CEO, is the project director. The blueprint will enable California to fully integrate the Environmental Principles and Concepts into K-12 instruction. 


    The Blueprint offers a plan to implement the EP&Cs and other environmental literacy strategies throughout the state, and Ten Strands is committed to seeing this plan implemented. Funded by a $3.1 million grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and ongoing support from the Pisces Foundation and the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, the steering committee is working to strengthen existing education initiatives as well as build relationships between schools and science-based organizations. 

    Teacher training becomes an important step in seeing the EP&Cs taught in classrooms. Some teachers, especially those new to education, may feel daunted by teaching environmental literacy, including more science, so Ten Strands is working to gather together teachers, training providers, and non-formal science organizations like museums, aquariums, and university research centers. 


    “There are 6.2 million kids in California public schools, who attend 10,000 schools in about 1,000 districts,” Ten Strands CEO Karen Cowe said. “We have identified school districts as the unit of change in the system because of the way schools are funded and because of the state government’s focus on local control.”

    “In the short term, we are working with schools in different areas to model the ideas we want to see statewide,” Cowe said. 

    One group is focused on building relationships with school district leaders to better understand what they need and are responsible for in terms of curriculum and teacher training. The group has created a tool to help administrators and educators think through district-wide science curriculum implementation that includes environmental literacy. “When a district is writing their local plans for the next three years, we can help them with a tool kit that supports how to incorporate environmental literacy into their plan in a seamless and integrated way,” Cowe said.


    Ten Strands also collaborates with science and education organizations to support teachers and students throughout California. Among their key partnerships are UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of ScienceChangeScale of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, TreePeople of Los Angeles, and the California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC).

    “We don’t want to only see certain kids in certain places understand the Environmental Principles and Concepts,” Cowe said. “We want to see environmental literacy flourish in every classroom across the state.”

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jul 10, 2017

  • Communities Receive $1.6 Million in CalRecycle Grants for Waste Tire Collection Events

    Media Contact: Christina Files
    (916) 341-6176 |

    SACRAMENTO – Money from a state-managed recycling fund will give Californians the opportunity to get rid of their old waste tires free of charge—allowing for the recycling and reuse of those tires rather than landfilling or illegal disposal.

    Every two years, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) awards waste tire amnesty grants to local jurisdictions, which then hold collection events for area residents to drop off old tires free of charge. This year, CalRecycle awarded $1.6 million to 38 cities, counties, and other jurisdictions throughout California.

    “When residents are made aware of an impending amnesty event, they are less likely to dump their tires illegally,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “These grants help local jurisdictions coordinate and prepare for successful events that divert waste tires into recycling programs.”

    The Local Government Waste Tire Amnesty Grant Program is designed to deter illegal dumping and stockpiling of waste tires, which can pose a threat to human health and the environment. Improperly managed waste tires are unsightly, become ideal breeding grounds for rodents and mosquitos, which can contribute to the spread of diseases like West Nile Virus. In 2015, California generated 44.2 million waste tires and 80.9 percent were diverted from disposal. Properly managed waste tires can be recycled into products used for various applications such as road surfacing and erosion control.

    Grant funds can be used to advertise the collection events and to collect and transport the tires. This is one of several CalRecycle programs funded from a recycling fee charged on every new tire sold in California. There is no cost to the state’s General Fund.

    The following is a complete list of jurisdictions that received funding. The maximum award amounts are $40,000 for individual city and county grants and $90,000 for regional grants.

    Applicant and Total Award

    Butte County: $30,000

    City of Ceres: $4,020

    City of Coalinga: $6,908

    City of Elk Grove: $27,094

    City of Fresno: $40,000

    City of Hesperia: $34,420

    City of Lake Elsinore: $32,620

    City of Long Beach: $39,995

    City of Los Angeles: $19,000

    City of Madera: $90,000

    City of Modesto: $25,950

    City of Pomona: $8,530

    City of Reedley: $9,568

    City of Tulare: $7,500

    El Dorado County: $89,812

    Fresno County: $40,000

    Glenn County: $84,000

    Humboldt Waste Management Authority: $88,180

    Imperial Valley  Resource Management Authority: $53,369

    Lake County: $40,000

    Lassen Regional Solid Waste Management Authority: $34,928

    Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority : $70,000

    Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority: $90,000

    Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District: $28,251

    Regional Waste Management Authority: $27,126

    Riverside County: $37,737

    Rural Counties ESJPA: $90,000

    Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority: $62,832

    San Bernardino County: $40,000

    San Diego County: $39,500

    San Joaquin County: $85,000

    Santa Cruz County: $21,097

    Siskiyou County: $20,000

    Stanislaus County: $53,155

    Tehama County: $44,709

    Town of Apple Valley: $34,615

    Town of Paradise: $30,000

    Yolo County: $40,000

    Total: $1,619,916

    For more information on CalRecycle’s Amnesty Tire Grant program, visit our Tire Grants webpage. For more information on waste tire recycling, visit our Tire Management webpage.

    Check out CalRecycle’s website and the department’s In the Loop blog for raw dataprogram information, and California success stories related to the state’s waste reduction, recycling, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jun 29, 2017

  • Green Weddings: Your Eco-Friendly Guide


    Cheap wedding favors are often overlooked or forgotten by guests, and that can add up to a lot of uneaten Jordan almonds in plastic bags or paper boxes at the end of the big day. Swap those tossable favors and think about a special memento that won’t get tossed into the trash on the way out the reception hall.  You could give live tree saplings or succulents, bookmarks with poems on them, or jam in reusable mason jars.


    Most couples spend a lot of time picking out the perfect menu, and caterers generally recommend ordering a little more food than needed just in case a last-minute RSVP comes in. Be a green bride and ask your caterer to package up leftover food in to-go containers for your guests. Opt for biodegradable or recyclable containers, and share the wealth of your feast!


    Weddings can be expensive parties, but upcycling can help keep your special day under budget. If you need a classy table runner, pop into your local library or used bookstore and ask for any damaged or unsellable books. Glue loose pages into a literary-inspired table runner! Skip paper napkins and plastic utensils. Raid thrift shops and yard sales for classic napkins and handkerchiefs and cutlery. Guests will love the vintage flair these items add to your decor.


    data-sf-ec-immutable=""> and groomsman gifts can be designed to suit the day or the person. We suggest you opt for the latter and give a gift that will outlast the style and fashion of your wedding. Monogrammed travel bags for the guys and silkscreened customized totes for the ladies make perfect forever gifts.


    Wedding fare is often served in courses throughout the evening beginning with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner, and concluded with dessert. Hold the toothpicks and skewers and focus on munchies that can be served with nothing more than a napkin.


    Decorating a venue for a wedding can be a daunting task. Keep it simple and focus on making the space feel like a reflection of your personal style. Bring books, vases, small tables, and even dishes from home to give your wedding a homey feel. Call up friends and relatives to see what they might have to lend—they’ll love being a part of your special day and you can check “Something Borrowed” off your list!

    data-sf-ec-immutable=""> a little imagination, it’s easy to be a green bride and host an eco-friendly wedding party. Don’t sacrifice your sense of style or fashion, but think of ways to creatively decorate and serve your guests. When your big day is over, ask around and share the love by gifting some of your unwanted wedding decorations and accessories to another eco-friendly couple!

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jun 15, 2017