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

  • Fact Check: What Affected Homeowners Should Know About Wildfire Debris Removal

    Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery are making significant progress clearing debris from private properties destroyed by the Carr Fire in Shasta County and the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County. CalRecycle-managed crews are also set to begin debris removal on homes destroyed by the Mendocino Complex and Pawnee fires in Lake County.

    Residents who wish to take advantage of the state-run debris removal program pay no out-of-pocket costs but are required to return signed right-of-entry agreements to their local governments before crews can begin work.

    Incident Right-of-Entry Deadline
    Klamathon Fire (Siskiyou County) Passed (Contact your local government)
    Carr Fire (Shasta County/City of Redding) Sept. 30, 2018
    Mendocino Complex Fire (Lake County) Sept. 28, 2018
    Pawnee Fire (Lake County) Sept. 28, 2018

    CalRecycle manages California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program under the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and local governments. Here are other key facts about the program:

    • California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program is entirely state-run and managed by CalRecycle experts with more than a decade of experience in disaster debris removal.
    • The state-run program covers asbestos testing and removal; site assessments and documentation; removal of all burned debris, foundations, ash, and contaminated soil; air monitoring and dust control; soil sampling; soil re-scraping (as needed); erosion control installation; and final inspection.
    • State-managed crews follow stringent health and safety standards to help rebuild communities to the highest standards and prevent additional harm during the cleanup process.
    • Private cleanups are required to follow the same health, safety, and environmental standards as state-managed cleanups; this should be factored into any private cleanup cost estimates.
    • Over the past 15 disaster debris removal operations, the average cost per lot for CalRecycle-managed cleanups was $74,958. Per-lot costs can vary dramatically depending on geographic distribution, structures per site, access issues, environmental conditions, and distance to an acceptable disposal facility.
    • CalRecycle documents the amount of material removed, trucked, and disposed from each property to ensure fiscal and operational accountability.
    • There are no out-of-pocket costs to participating homeowners, regardless of actual cleanup costs or residential insurance coverage
    • Homeowners with insurance that specifically covers debris removal may be required to remit the portion of the insurance claim payments that are specifically reserved for that activity.
    • Property owners may be able to first utilize debris removal insurance proceeds for debris removal work that is outside the scope of the state-managed program, such as the removal of pools and driveways, and trees/fencing/outbuildings outside the ash footprint. Contact your insurance provider for specifics on your policy.

    Get answers to any remaining debris removal questions by contacting representatives at the Debris Removal Operations Center in your community.

    Shasta Co. Debris Removal Operations Center
    1300 Hilltop Drive
    Redding, CA 96003

    Siskiyou Co. Debris Removal Operations Center
    1312 Fairlane Road
    Yreka, CA 96097

    Lake Co. Debris Removal Operations Center
    898 Lakeport Boulevard
    Lakeport, CA 96453

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Sep 18, 2018

  • CalRecycle Adds Crews to Ventura County Wildfire Cleanup

    First Property Cleared for Rebuilding Following Thomas Fire

    SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is now managing 41 private contractor crews to clear wildfire debris from affected properties in the City of Ventura and Ventura County. An additional four crews, consisting of three to five people each, began work late last week to help remove soil, ash, metal, concrete, and other debris from properties destroyed by December’s 281,893-acre Thomas Fire.

    “CalRecycle is proud to work alongside our state and local partners to help clear this wildfire debris and give the resilient communities of Ventura County the opportunity to move forward,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “At the end of this debris removal process, homeowners can be confident in knowing their properties are clean, safe, and ready for rebuilding.”

    Debris Removal Operations

    Phase 1 – The California Department of Toxic Substances Control removes hazardous debris such as asbestos siding or pipe insulation; paints; batteries; flammable liquids; and other materials. See the current progress here.

    Phase 2 – Following the removal of hazardous debris, CalRecycle contractors began the following operations to restore fire-damaged lots to pre-fire conditions:

    • Site Documentation, Assessments, and Analysis – Began Jan. 11, 2018. Contractor crews measure and document foundation, structures, debris, utility infrastructure, and property-specific hazards. Any remaining asbestos-containing material is identified and removed. Crews obtain and evaluate background soil samples to establish cleanup goals for the project.
    • Debris Removal – Began Jan. 19, 2018. Contractor crews remove metals and concrete for recycling, and ash and contaminated soil for disposal.
    • Confirmation Sampling – Began Jan. 31, 2018. Contractor crews sample and analyze soil, compare results to program cleanup goals.
    • Erosion Control – Began Feb. 2, 2018. Contractor crews implement storm water best management practices to control sediment runoff and promote vegetation growth.

    At the conclusion of the debris cleanup program, CalRecycle will provide each property owner with a certificate that verifies the lot is clean and eligible to receive a building permit from the county. CalRecycle anticipates debris removal work to be completed in all areas in April 2018. Activities related to confirmation sampling and erosion control may continue into May 2018.

    Current Ventura County Wildfire Debris Removal Status 

    • Right of Entry Forms Returned: 669
    • Site Documentation/Assessments Complete: 647
    • Debris Removal Complete: 83
    • Confirmation Sampling Complete: 21
    • Erosion Control Implemented: 3
    • Final Inspection Completed: 1

    Debris removal programs are implemented under the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and local governments.  CalRecycle oversees and manages contractors and consultants to conduct the debris removal at no out-of-pocket cost to homeowners. Homeowners who wish to participate must return signed Right of Entry forms to their local governments. A central Debris Removal Operations Center has been established as a resource for impacted homeowners to return Right of Entry forms and get answers to any questions or concerns.

    Debris Removal Operations Center
    290 Maple Court, Suite 120
    Ventura, CA  93003
    (805) 765-4259

    Homeowners who wish to conduct their own cleanup may do so but should be aware of all safety and environmental standards and requirements. The City of Ventura and Ventura County have guidelines available for residents who wish to pursue this option. Commercial properties may be eligible for state-funded debris removal if damaged lots pose a direct threat to public health or the environment. Thus far, CalRecycle crews have been tasked with debris removal for the Hawaiian Village and Harbor View apartment complexes.

    For more information about the debris cleanup program,

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Feb 15, 2018

  • CalRecycle Completes Wildfire Debris Removal in Northern California

    Fire-Affected Properties Cleared in Butte, Nevada, and Yuba Counties

    Media Contact: Lance Klug
    (916) 341-6293 |                                               

    SACRAMENTO – Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery have completed the removal of wildfire debris on properties in Butte, Nevada, and Yuba counties following October’s devastating wildfires in Northern California. Since November 16, crews removed more than 63,000 tons of ash, debris, and contaminated soil from 250 properties in which owners chose to participate in the CalRecycle-managed cleanup.

    “The completion of debris removal in Butte, Nevada, and Yuba counties marks an important milestone in Northern California’s wildfire recovery efforts,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Thanks to the tireless work of our debris removal crews, 2018 can be a year of rebuilding and new hope for these communities.” 



     A property in Yuba County prior to debris removal (left) and a Butte County property following the removal of ash, debris, and contaminated soil (right).

    Tonnage Removed by Waste Type:

    • Metals: 2,939 tons
    • Debris, Ash, & Soil: 46,538 tons
    • Concrete: 13,124 tons
    • Vegetation: 713 tons
    • Total: 63,314 tons

    Next Steps

    Final soil testing, the installation of erosion control measures, and final property inspections are on track to be complete early this year. Property owners will receive a certificate from their respective counties that verifies their lot is clean and eligible to receive a building permit.

    CalRecycle is working in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and other state and local partners as part of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The joint effort was developed after the string of October 2017 wildfires destroyed homes in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties. CalRecycle was tasked with leading cleanup operations in Butte, Nevada, and Yuba counties.
    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Jan 7, 2018