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

  • Spotlight: 5 Projects, Laws, and Programs to Watch in 2019

    CalRecycle has a busy year ahead as we work to protect public health and the environment. Check out these new projects, laws, and programs, and stay tuned for regular updates.

    CalRecycle’s Role in Wildfire Debris Cleanup and Recovery

    California suffered several significant wildfires in 2018, and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services tasked CalRecycle with overseeing the cleanup at the Woolsey and Hill fires in LA and Ventura counties and the Camp Fire in Paradise (Butte County). Read about the cleanup process at our Wildfire Debris Cleanup and Recovery webpage, and check our dashboard maps (Woolsey-Hill fires map and Camp Fire map) for the latest updates.

    New Recycling and Disposal Facility Reporting

    Former Governor Edmund G. Brown signed AB 901 (Gordon, Chapter 746, Statutes of 2015) into law to change how the management of organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are reported to CalRecycle. While the statewide waste characterization reports help CalRecycle better understand the composition of our waste streams, these new reports will help CalRecycle better track and analyze the flow of materials throughout California. CalRecycle will transition away from the current Disposal Reporting System (DRS) to the new Recycling and Disposal Reporting System (RDRS). The registration period for entities required to report via RDRS begins April 1. CalRecycle is scheduled to host workshops on March 20 and 21 to help reporting entities understand their obligations under the new system. See the Recycling and Disposal Facility Reporting AB 901 webpage.

    Statewide Expansion of Organics Recycling

    SB 1383 builds upon California’s leading commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by reducing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills. The regulations will go into effect in 2022, and the formal rulemaking process is underway. Check out the Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP): Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions webpage to learn more about the intent of the law. Check out our SLCP rulemaking webpage for more information.

    Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship

    Unwanted and improperly managed pharmaceutical drugs and needles (often called “sharps”) present significant public health, safety, and environmental problems at the end of their useful lives. In 2018, Brown signed SB 212 (Jackson, Chapter 1004, Statutes of 2018) into law to establish safe and convenient disposal options for pharmaceutical drugs and home-generated sharps waste. CalRecycle started the informal regulatory process in January 2019. Read more at the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship webpage.

    Sustainable Packaging for the State of California

    Brown also signed into law SB 1335 (Allen, Chapter 610, Statues of 2018) , which prohibits food service facilities located in a state-owned facility, operating on or acting as a concessionaire on state-owned property, or under contract to provide food service to a state agency from dispensing prepared food using food service packaging unless it is either recyclable, reusable, or compostable. The first step to implementing this law is clarifying what is reusable, recyclable, or compostable through the regulation process. Read about the law on the Sustainable Packaging for the State of California webpage. The first informal rulemaking workshop is April 10.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Mar 21, 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

  • Consolidated Debris Removal Program FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions About Right-of-Entry (ROE) Forms and Insurance

     

    What is the Consolidated Debris Removal Program?

    CalRecycle implements California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program under the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and local governments. The state-run program and its contractors and consultants are managed by CalRecycle experts with more than a decade of experience in disaster debris removal.

    The Consolidated Debris Removal Program has two phases: removal of household hazardous waste and removal of other fire-related debris.

    • In phase one, the city/county will join the California State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and its contractors as crews inspect your property and remove any household hazardous waste that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, asbestos siding, and paints. This phase is mandatory under local emergency declarations.
    • In phase two, CalOES and local officials coordinate with CalRecycle to execute contracts and conduct fire-related debris removal from your property at no out-of-pocket costs to homeowners. The voluntary 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. Homeowners must sign and return Right-of-Entry forms to their local governments to participate.

    What is a Right of Entry Form?

    A Right-of-Entry (ROE) form gives permission to the city/county and state to access your property for the purpose of cleanup activities. By signing an ROE form, you are signing up to participate in the program. The form extends permission to CalRecycle and its contactors to perform the cleanup work. Contact city/county officials to get a Right-of-Entry form.

    If I missed the ROE deadline for my county may I still submit one?

    ROEs submitted after the deadline must be reviewed on a case–by-case basis by the city/county.

    (Note: For ROE deadlines and background information, please see our previous post.)

    When will crews be on my property?

    Due to the high volume of program participants, we are unable to give property owners an exact date for their cleanup. However, you will receive a call from between 24-48 hours before the removal takes place.

    Can I be present during the cleanup of their personal property?

    Owners do not need to be present but are welcome to view the cleanup on their property from a safe distance. To prevent safety hazards, the public is encouraged to stay away from areas where debris removal operations are underway. Exclusion zones will be established surrounding the work area to ensure the safety of the public and workers.

    Is the debris removal program only for houses that are completely destroyed?

    The Consolidated Debris Removal Program is for destroyed houses, as directed by CalOES and the local government. If you are unsure if your house qualifies for the debris removal program, submit a Right-of-Entry form to your local government for assessment.

    Will debris removal crews be looking for code violations or other property infractions?

    No. Debris removal crews are on properties to perform specific operations related to the removal of contaminated soil, ash/debris, concrete, and metals.

    Who will pay for the debris removal?

    All initial costs will be paid by state and federal agencies. However, if property owners have insurance that specifically covers debris removal, owners must inform their local officials. To avoid duplication of benefits, homeowners are required to remit a portion of insurance claim payments specifically reserved for debris removal.

    What portion of my homeowner’s policy will the city/county collect for debris removal?

    It depends on the policy that you have. There are generally two types of debris removal coverages in a homeowner’s insurance policy:

    • Specified Amount: One type of debris removal insurance coverage contains a separate, specific debris clause, typically capped at a percentage of the coverage amounts listed in the policy (for example, 5 percent of the value of a primary structure, other structure, and personal property.) In this case, the city/county will only collect from your insurance policy the specified amount designated in the debris removal clause. You will not owe the county any additional money, even if the actual costs to remove the debris exceed the amount designated in your insurance policy for debris removal.
    • No Specified Amount: Another type of debris removal insurance policy does not have a specified amount but includes the costs of debris removal in the total proceeds provided for the primary structure, other structure, or personal property. If you have this type of policy, the city/county will only attempt to collect insurance proceeds for debris removal after you have rebuilt your home. The county will only collect any money that remains in your insurance policy, if any, after the rebuild. The homeowner will not owe the county any additional money for debris removal.

    Note: Property owners may be able to first utilize debris removal insurance claim payments 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.

    If I participate in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, will the city/county have the right to take all of my insurance proceeds?

    No. The city/county will only seek reimbursement from the insurance carrier as stated above.

    Can I do my own work or hire my own contractor?

    Yes. Property owners who wish to conduct their own cleanup or hire private contractors to remove wildfire debris may do so, but they should be aware of local safety and environmental standards and requirements.  The city/county will require the same work practices, proper cleanup to comparable standards, and safe disposal requirements as the state-managed operations.  Available state funding will only pay for work done through the state-run program. Contact your local government for more information on private cleanups.

    Where do I find answers to other questions I have about the debris removal program?

    If you have any questions regarding the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, send them to debrisquestions@caloes.ca.gov or contact local 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 24, 2018