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

  • Labor Day the Zero-Waste Way

    Labor Day The Zero Waste Way
    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Sep 3, 2018

  • Package-Free Hummus

    Since coming to CalRecycle as an Executive Fellow and learning more about waste management in California, I have been more thoughtful about the waste I create in my own life. Packaging represents about one quarter of California’s waste stream, and   China’s current policy to limit or prohibit recyclable material imports is changing how recycling works in California. Recyclable materials that once had robust market demand are increasingly difficult to manage in the state.

    In fact, the City of Sacramento, where I live and where CalRecycle headquarters are located, recently announced it is no longer accepting #4-7 plastic in its curbside recycling program. As a result, I am rethinking my consumer choices.

    I am a big fan of hummus, a creamy dip made from chickpeas, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and tahini. Hummus is delicious just with these simple five ingredients, but it is also versatile and tastes fantastic with the addition of spices like cumin or paprika. I’ve even heard of folks blending steamed beets into their hummus for amazing flavor and color. I eat my hummus with carrots, with delicious farmers market cucumbers, spread on toast, and with crackers.

    Prior to becoming a CalRecycler, I would generally purchase hummus weekly at the grocery store in a plastic tub without thinking much about what would happen to that plastic tub once I was done with it.  Luckily for me (and for you!), I recently discovered it’s super easy to make from scratch.

    Here is my easy, versatile, delicious, and plastic-packaging-free hummus recipe. I skip the packaging altogether, purchase my chickpeas in bulk, and cook them in my pressure cooker, but if you’re strapped for time, canned chickpeas work great too. I also make my own tahini, which is a toasted sesame seed condiment and is crucial for making hummus. Tahini is available premade if you don’t want to take the extra step.

    Package-Free Hummus


    • 2 cup chickpeas, cooked and drained (or 1 15-ounce can)
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons tahini
    • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice (about half a lemon), plus more as needed
    • 1 garlic clove
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    • Food processor or blender
    • Rubber spatula
    • Strainer or colander
    • Measuring cups and spoons


    1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Make sure to reserve some of the bean liquid for thinning out the hummus later, if necessary.
    2. Combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper in the food processor or blender.
    3. Blend the ingredients and slowly add in the olive oil while the food processor or blender is running.
    4. Blend up to five minutes, stopping to scrape down the side of the food processor or blender with a rubber spatula if necessary.
    5. Taste and adjust seasonings. You can also add your reserved chickpea water and blend again if you feel like the hummus is too thick.
    6. Transfer to bowl and serve! You can add any additional seasonings you would like. I enjoy some smoked paprika, cumin, and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
    7. Enjoy!
    Posted on In the Loop by Allegra Curiel on Aug 27, 2018

  • Recycling Roundup: Global Markets, California Materials, Local Solutions

    California is feeling the fallout from a global disruption in markets for recycled scrap materials. Recent import restrictions from China, coupled with a decline in the market value of recyclable commodities, have resulted in significant recycling challenges for the state’s recycling industries and confusion for the public. 

    Each year, California exports about a third of the recyclable material it collects—including about two-thirds of the recyclable material collected from curbside bins. Historically, more than 60 percent of that material—particularly mixed paper and low-grade plastics—went to China for remanufacturing. The loss of Chinese markets is resulting in more stockpiling of materials at California processing and recycling facilities, increased disposal at landfills, and renewed efforts by local jurisdictions to ensure less contamination in residential recycling bins.

    As part of CalRecycle’s commitment to keep Californians informed and to advance statewide discussions on this issue, the department developed this online resource to track market developments, share solutions from communities and businesses throughout the state, and to provide technical assistance and guidance to regulated entities. The website also highlights potential policy reforms to reduce waste in California and manage our own materials rather than exporting them. Check back often—the webpage is updated regularly with new information.


    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Jul 19, 2018