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

  • Combating Climate Change in California

    California has made combatting climate change a top priority for our state, and for good reason. Our communities are already battling the negative effects of climate change that endanger public health and the environment. Fortunately, CalRecycle and other state departments are taking steps to reduce its effects.

    Recycling for Climate

    Recycling combats climate change in several ways. First, it reduces the need to extract raw materials to manufacture new products, which reduces energy use and the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. For example, every 10 pounds of aluminum you recycle prevents 37 pounds of carbon emissions.

    SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) establishes a target to achieve a 75 percent reduction of currently landfilled organic waste by 2025 and diverting this material into recovery activities. It also requires that cities and counties provide organics recycling services to residents and businesses, implement an edible food recovery program, and purchase recycled organics products like compost and renewable natural gas. SB 1383 will also generate thousands of new, locally based recycling jobs.

    Recycling organic materials like yard and food waste prevents methane gas emissions. When landfilled, organic waste decomposes and releases methane into the atmosphere. This is a big deal, because methane is a super pollutant at least 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Fortunately, organic materials are easily recycled into beneficial products like compost, which enriches the nutrients and water-holding capacity of soils, and renewable natural gas, which can power vehicles without using fossil fuels.

    California Climate Investments: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grants and Loans

    CalRecycle established the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant and Loan Programs to provide financial incentives for capital investments in infrastructure designed to address climate change and other environmental goals. This includes aerobic composting, anaerobic digestion, and recycling and manufacturing facilities that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One priority is to realize environmental and economic benefits in disadvantaged and low-income communities. “Putting Cap-and-Trade Dollars to Work for California” highlights past projects and benefits to local communities.

    California is experiencing the effects of climate change with cycling droughts, reduced Sierra Nevada snowpack (which provides 60 percent of the state’s water), longer and more extreme fire seasons, and rising sea levels. CalRecycle is directing many efforts to reduce and reverse these dramatic changes to our climate. From regulating the management of materials to their highest and best use, to investing in the necessary infrastructure California needs to have a closed-loop recycling system, CalRecycle is making a significant difference with tangible actions to address climate change. But perhaps more than anything, we value our partnership with the people of California who play a vital role in recycling for climate by adopting the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Learn more about CalRecycle’s efforts to combat climate change at our Climate Change webpage.

    —Christina Files

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jan 21, 2019

  • 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

  • Reusable Notebooks Reduce Paper Waste

    I’m guilty. Whenever I see a blank notebook with a cute cover on it—you know, like a pretty marble swirl, a sweet but overstated inspirational saying, or a sweet but overstated inspirational saying printed over a pretty marble swirl—I just have to have it! Then more often than not, it sits on my bookshelf being pretty, but not truly serving its purpose. So, now I have three problems: 1) I have a ton of half-used notebooks, journals, and diaries cluttering up my space; 2) all my notes are disorganized because they’re in order of whichever pretty notebook was closest to me when I needed to write something; and 3) I don’t know what to do with all the notebooks IF they ever get used. There’s all the paper waste of the notes I no longer need and the disorganized leftovers I might need at some point eventually. Sure, I can type everything out, but who wants to do that? Some of us still like the idea of writing things down, and in some cases it makes more sense than jotting it down on a laptop or phone.

    Enter the reusable notebook!

    I first heard about reusable notebooks from a friend. Yes, it sounds crazy. How can a notebook be reusable? What do you do with your notes if you want to keep them? Sliced bread, people landing on the moon … now, a reusable notebook? What kind of madness is this?!? Then I did some investigating. It turns out there are several different types of reusable smart notebooks that can help cut down on paper waste, reduce clutter created by an endless amount of journals, and help you organize your thoughts digitally. Some notepads are like digital tablets: They are expensive and require a special pen and a charger (e.g., the Moleskine smart writing set notebook). Some require stickers to organize notes. Some even require microwaves! Yes, microwaves. I settled on one reusable journal called Rocketbook, not because it’s necessarily the best notebook out there, but because it was on sale and it got good reviews from other buyers.

    Since, as far as I know, it is not available in stores, I ordered it online. Cringe, I know! Packaging waste is a big issue, and this one was a doozy. It came in a plastic foil-lined zipper bag within a non-recyclable, but thankfully reusable bubble wrap envelope. There was also a microfiber (also a growing waste problem) cloth inside another plastic sleeve. Hey, I tried. I bought a reusable notebook to cut down on paper waste and ended up with two plastic sleeves, a bubble wrap envelope, and carbon emissions for the travel from across the country. *Facepalm*

    Here’s the good news. So far, this notebook is awesome! The paper doesn’t feel exactly like paper because it isn’t paper, but it does feel like writing on paper for the most part. While it works similar to a dry erase board in that it can easily be erased by wiping it with water and the included cloth, it will not wipe or smudge off if you touch it (after the recommended 15-second drying period). The ink can also be removed with the pen’s eraser—that part really took me back to 1996 erasable pen nostalgia. Each page is numbered and contains a QR code, a grid, and cute little symbols on the bottom reminiscent of Lucky Charms —all are supposed to help keep you organized with assistance from the downloadable app.

    Each symbol on the bottom can be assigned to an electronic account. For example, the diamond might be team meeting notes that you would like to email or drop into a special folder for your co-workers when scanned by your phone. If there are multiple pages, the QR code will put the pages in order for you. Once you are done scanning the pages, you can count on your notes being organized in folders you designate for easy access. Then you can erase the pages so you can reuse them for years to come. The journal is compatible with certain pens and highlighters which can be found in stores and can also be used on similar notebooks like the Elfin notebook, the Zohulu notebook, and the RUBook—all comparable products to the Rocketbook.

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with my purchase and excited to see how functional it will be in my work and personal life in the long run. Time will tell!

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jan 10, 2019