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

  • Fix-It Group Holds the Line Against Landfill Waste

    If you can repair it, there’s no need to replace it.

    Neighbors in the Oak Park area of Sacramento are fully aware of this simple truth. Once a month, they host the Oak Park Fix-It Cafe, described on its Facebook page as “a community-powered gathering for repairing and maintaining bicycles, clothing, household items, and the ties that bind us into a healthy community.” At various stations, they work with visitors to stitch buttons back onto sweaters, sew up holes, tune up bicycles, and troubleshoot appliances. And, since it’s a grassroots thing, they also chat about goings-on in the neighborhood and throw back some bagels and cream cheese.

    The group meets once a month, on the third Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, search for “Oak Park Fix-It Cafe” on Facebook.

    The bike repair station is a busy one at the fix-it clinic.

    The bike repair station is a busy one at the fix-it clinic.

    Bagels and appliance repair – what’s a fix-it café without both?

    Thinking of starting a fix-it café in your own community? Here’s a great resource to get started!

    Posted on In the Loop on Jan 31, 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

  • SB 1383 Rulemaking Launch Party

    In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new law requires that CalRecycle implement regulations to reduce organic waste disposal by 50 percent by 2020, and 75 percent by 2025. It also requires that not less than 20 percent of edible food that is currently disposed of is recovered for human consumption by 2025.

    At CalRecycle’s monthly public meeting on Tuesday, staff will recommend approval to complete and file the draft regulations with the Office of Administrative Law and begin the formal rulemaking process. This step has been preceded by almost two years of informal stakeholder workshops and statewide cost-benefit analyses.

    In non-government-ese: We’ve been working hard to figure out the best way to implement this new law, and we’ve gotten a lot of input from local communities and businesses, and we’ve constructed a detailed plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed hungry Californians. This is a big deal!

    Also at the public meeting, CalRecycle staff will seek approval to conclude the formal rulemaking process for AB 901(Gordon, Chapter 746, Statutes of 2015). This law changes how organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are reported to CalRecycle and will help the department focus its efforts to increase recycling in the state.

    In non-government-ese: Draft regulations, which detail the AB 901 reporting requirements and how CalRecycle will enforce them, have already been reviewed by OAL, and this action will finalize them. This is also a big deal.

    We’ll also announce grant recipients for our Tire Incentive Program and for projects using rubberized pavement and tire-derived aggregate. All three of these grant programs help California make good use of some of the 48 million waste tires managed in the state each year, rather than have them end up in landfills.

    CalRecycle December 2018 Public Meeting
    10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18
    Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    You can find the full agenda (and a lot of SB 1383 documents, including a few explanatory infographics) for CalRecycle’s December 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 by Heather Jones on Dec 17, 2018