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

  • CalRecycle's Project Medley


    At CalRecycle, we’re constantly working every aspect of “reduce, reuse, recycle” to protect human health and the environment. Tomorrow’s monthly public meeting offers a glimpse at the wide variety of work we do. Here are a few items on the agenda:

    • Review and consider PaintCare’s most recent annual report. PaintCare is responsible for establishing convenient paint collection sites throughout California to increase the recycling of leftover paint.
    • Announce a Jan. 30 workshop to hear feedback on draft concepts for implementing the state’s new Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program. For more information on this topic, see our Sharps Waste Disposal webpage.
    • Present updates, including enforcement activities, on our Beverage Container Recycling Program.
    • Consider a $2 million greenhouse gas reduction loan for Peninsula Plastics Recycling, Inc. to process low-grade plastics the state previously exported to China, which is no longer accepting such material.
    • Discuss ways to help local jurisdictions implement SB 1383, which requires them to develop organics recycling programs and recover edible food for human consumption.

    Here’s the lowdown:

    CalRecycle January 2019 Public Meeting
    10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15
    Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    You can find the full agenda for CalRecycle’s January public meeting here. If you can’t make it in person, join us by webcast (the link will go live shortly before the meeting begins).

    Posted on In the Loop on Jan 14, 2019

  • Wildfires Create New Danger: Hazardous Debris

    The latest wildfires in California have left more than 80 people dead, 161,000 acres burned, and more than 10,000 homes and structures destroyed. But as changing weather patterns and the tireless work of firefighters help boost containment lines, communities devastated by the fires now face potential health risks associated with the improper handling of fire debris. 

    Returning residents should avoid extensive sweeping or sifting through ash or debris before cleanup by designated agencies begins. Exposure to ash, soot, and other hazardous material left in the wake of wildfires can cause serious and potentially deadly health problems.

    Camp Fire aftermath

    Fire ash contains tiny particles of dust, dirt, and soot that can be inhaled if the ash becomes airborne. These particles could contain trace amounts of metals like lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic; asbestos from older homes or other buildings; perfluorochemicals (from degradation of non-stick cookware, for example); flame retardants; and caustic materials. In addition to irritating your skin, nose, and throat, substances like asbestos, nickel, arsenic, and cadmium have been known to cause cancer. 

    • Experts say it’s best to avoid any activity that disturbs the debris or kicks ash and associated chemicals into the air.
    • Those working directly with wildfire debris are advised to wear gloves, long shirts and pants, and other clothing to help prevent skin contact.
    • It’s best to change shoes and clothing once off-site to avoid contaminating other areas.
    • Masks certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are also recommended when exposure to wildfire dust or ash can’t be avoided.

    CalEPA recommends NIOSH-certified air-purifying respirator masks, which can be found at most hardware stores. A mask rated N-95 is much more effective than simpler dust or surgical masks in blocking particles from ash. Although smaller sized masks may appear to fit a child’s face, none of the manufacturers recommend their use for children. If children are in an area that warrants wearing a mask, they should be moved to an environment with cleaner air.

    Safe sifting through your property will NOT jeopardize your claims for disaster assistance. However, property owners are advised against initiating actual cleanup activities or significantly disturbing the debris by moving it to other areas. Expanding the ash footprint on the property creates additional safety hazards and expenses during the cleanup process. Contact your local officials for further guidance on these activities.

    Learn more about CalRecycle's role in wildfire recovery efforts.


    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Nov 28, 2018

  • CalRecycle Wildfire Debris Cleanups: Status Report

    After a wildfire, the process involved in cleaning up damaged property, clearing debris, and rebuilding can be overwhelming. Residents and local governments are inundated with tasks and projects that must be completed in an orderly manner. In response to a declared State of Emergency and a request for assistance from a local government, the California Office of Emergency Services regularly tasks CalRecycle with managing debris removal operations and preparing residential properties for rebuilding by homeowners.

    CalRecycle is currently mission-tasked by CalOES to manage debris removal operations for the Carr Fire in Shasta County, the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County, and the Mendocino Complex Fire and the Pawnee Fire, both in Lake County.

    In Shasta County, 1,046 homeowners have registered for the program; debris removal is complete on 723 sites, and 119 of those have been approved for redevelopment. 

    In Siskiyou County, debris removal is complete on all 49 properties registered for the program.

    In Lake County, 146 homeowners registered for the Mendocino Complex debris removal program; debris removal is complete on 86 properties.

    Homeowners have returned 15 signed Right of Entry forms for the Pawnee Fire cleanup; debris removal is complete on nine properties.

    For more on the wildfire debris removal process, see our Consolidated Debris Removal Program FAQs and our Wildfire Debris Cleanup and Recovery webpage

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Nov 5, 2018