Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
A Brief Overview of Waste Collection and Recycling in California
When it comes to waste and recycling, California has a jurisdiction/state system similar to our nation’s state/federal system. This system allows local communities to customize their waste management programs while complying with state laws. CalRecycle does not own or operate any waste management or recycling facilities or hauler services in the state. As a result, there is no standardized universal waste management system throughout the state. Instead, the department provides oversight to local governments and businesses to ensure they comply with state laws and work to meet statewide recycling goals and mandates.
Most jurisdictions contract with private waste hauler businesses to collect waste from residents and businesses. A hauler provides residents and businesses with collection containers (often called bins or dumpsters) and collection service. These contract agreements are strictly between the jurisdiction and the hauler, and are not subject to CalRecycle oversight.
CalRecycle, in partnership with local enforcement agencies (LEA), regulates the operation of solid waste handling, processing, and disposal activities to protect the public health and safety and the environment as well as ensure a level playing field for solid waste businesses. CalRecycle certifies LEAs to ensure the facilities/operations within their jurisdiction operate according to state minimum standards and permit conditions. Although each LEA is responsible for its jurisdiction, CalRecycle provides training, guidance and oversight to ensure LEAs consistently and equitably enforce state laws to ensure facilities are operating effectively.
CalRecycle activities include certifying and evaluating local enforcement agency programs; reviewing/concurring on permit and closure/post closure documents; inspecting all facilities before permits are issued; and inspecting active and closed landfills and other facilities in coordination with the LEA.
Although California does not own any haulers, waste facilities, or recycling centers, CalRecycle does manage and mitigate the impacts of solid waste by ensuring local compliance with regulations and state minimum standards through integrated and consistent permitting, inspection, and enforcement efforts.
To learn more about local opportunities to recycle, check out our Recycle webpage.Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Apr 11, 2019
CalRecycle publishes more than a dozen reports every year in its publications database to provide updates on the status of our programs and detail how much our state is recycling and landfilling. If reading an entire report seems daunting, check out the executive summary, which provides the big-picture context, key statistics, and basic conclusions. Here’s a quick list of CalRecycle’s most-read reports.
The 2017 report outlines the primary laws that govern waste management and recycling and evaluates the state’s progress in meeting statewide waste diversion goals. This report also outlines new tools and approaches to increase recycling in the state, like improving the quality and marketability of recyclable materials that continue to be generated. Fun fact from this report: In 2017, California generated 77.2 million tons of waste and recycled 42 percent of it.
California’s recycling infrastructure has heavily relied upon the export of recyclable materials from California ports, and this report outlines the materials we export and the countries that accept these materials. California recyclable materials exports have been steadily declining since 2011, dropping more than 33 percent in weight since then, which resulted in a corresponding drop in the vessel value of exports by nearly $5 billion.
This report provides a snapshot of the Beverage Container Recycling Program, including the recycling rate per material type, the total number of sales and redemptions, estimated revenues and expenditures, and the number of containers per pound by material type.
While the State of Disposal and Recycling report offers a big-picture look at how much waste is generated in California, this report reflects the results of an in-the-field study that examined the composition of our waste. With up-to-date information on the types and amounts of materials disposed in the state’s waste stream, CalRecycle can better determine where changes are needed to achieve California’s 75 percent recycling goal. CalRecycle is currently conducting another waste characterization study that will likely be published in late 2019.
Curious about the success of the statewide plastic bag ban? This report provides an update to the California Legislature about how the plastic bag ban has decreased usage of single-use plastic bags and positively affected the waste stream.
Although not technically a report, this policy recommendation paper is an interesting read. It details how California’s current program needs to be expanded to include all the new types of electronics in the marketplace.
Curious about how the new organics law will affect California? This report details impacts on residents, businesses, and local governments, including benefits (like jobs created), direct costs (like rate increases), and an analysis of alternatives considered (like eliminating enforcement mechanism).Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Apr 4, 2019
They say if you’re not on social media, you don’t exist. We all know that isn’t true, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least check in on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram every once in a while to see what’s happening in the world of environmentalism. Here are a few of the many social media accounts that we at CalRecycle think are worth a follow if you want to keep up with sustainability, environmentalism, climate change, recycling, and nature.
Recycle by City
Recycle by City provides specific recycling information to eight cities (three in California) with easy-to-follow instructions and visuals that help clear up recycling confusion. Always on the pulse of what is going on in the world of waste and environmentalism, Recycle by City deserves a follow on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook—whichever you prefer.
You’re missing out on all kinds of fascinating environmental topics if you’re not listening to Podship Earth, hosted by Jared Blumenfeld, CalEPA’s new secretary. While the Instagram and Facebook accounts both have relevant and interesting content, it’s best to subscribe to the podcast and/or follow on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.
The name doesn’t really do this Instagram account justice—while it sounds like it might be a photographic tour of America’s best interior designs, it’s actually more about the exterior. The U.S. Interior’s Instagram account will blow you away with breathtaking nature shots from federal lands—lands the department is charged with conserving. We love this particular account because it reminds us why we fight so hard to protect the planet.
Save the Food
In California, 1 in 8 people are food-insecure, including 1 in 5 children. Yet each year in our state alone, we waste approximately 5.6 million tons of food, which generates greenhouse gases when it decomposes in our landfills. Save the Food’s Facebook page is chock-full of statistics on food waste, how to prevent it, and tips on how to best store and repurpose food before it goes to waste. Plus, they’ve got quick videos that are fun and fascinating.
The Story of Stuff Project
Everyone’s stuff has a story! Whichever account you follow—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even YouTube—The Story of Stuff Project will have some content that you can relate to. Whether it’s climate change, waste, or eco-friendly tips, following any or all of their accounts will not disappoint. Their quirky videos will have you thinking twice about your stuff after it’s not your stuff anymore.Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Mar 28, 2019