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

  • California Executive Fellow Ciaran Gallagher Assists with New Organics Recycling Law at CalRecycle

    I am one of the 18 Executive Fellows serving in the Executive Branch across Sacramento through the Capital Fellows Program, a 10-month public policy fellowship. The capital fellowship aims to foster the next generation of California public sector leaders. My peers and I learn the ropes of state government by conducting bill analyses, facilitating stakeholder conversations, and writing regulatory language.

    Ciaran Gallagher

    I am the fifth fellow in as many years to be placed at CalRecycle under the mentorship of Chief Deputy Director Ken DaRosa. He has given me the flexibility to work on projects that align with my interest in waste and climate policy intersections. My main projects are around the SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) formal rulemaking process, which will further statewide organic waste collection and processing and the recovery of edible food. These regulations will decrease methane emissions, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and divert edible food for the 5.4 million food-insecure Californians. SB 1383 will fundamentally shift the landscape of waste in California, and I am amazed that I am part of this momentous effort.

    Given my academic background in environmental chemistry and work experience in local governments, CalRecycle has been an ideal placement for me to develop state government skills and be involved in environmental policy. It has also felt like coming back to my roots since my undergraduate research focused on urban farming and gleaning in the context of food security.

    When I applied to this fellowship, I was already committed to a career in the public sector. These past six months have only cemented this decision. Daily I am motivated by my coworkers and peer fellows who are dedicated to improving the lives of all Californians.

    At the first CalRecycle monthly public meeting I attended, multiple people enthusiastically complimented the department’s transparent, thorough, and engaging regulatory process. Although the commenters didn’t necessarily agree with CalRecycle’s ultimate decision in the regulatory language, they praised the process that included lengthy conversation with various stakeholders. I am honored to work for a government department that values this engagement and upholds its work values through every step of the regulatory process.

    This year's Executive Fellows

    California's 18 Capital Fellows. CalRecycle's fellow, Ciaran Gallagher, is the second from the left in the top row.

    Posted on In the Loop by Ciaran Gallagher on Mar 1, 2019

  • Grant Supports Organics Recycling, Food Rescue

    $4 Million to Help Fund Anaerobic Digestion Facility, Purchase Refrigerated Delivery Truck 

    A new anaerobic digestion facility in San Luis Obispo County, partially funded through CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program, will process 35,720 tons of organic material per year that would otherwise be landfilled.

    Kompogas SLO will convert organic yard and food waste into renewable energy and feedstock for local composting facilities.

    SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) requires the state to divert 50 percent of organic material from landfills by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by organic material decomposing in landfills. In response to the new law, SLO Integrated Waste Management Authority coordinated with its local hauler, Waste Connections, to identify and forecast opportunities for organic waste diversion. Kompogas SLO will reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only by diverting organic materials from disposal but also by reducing vehicle miles involved with transporting organic waste.

    Construction on the new facility began in November 2017, and it is expected to be up and running in late spring 2019.

    Despite current organics collection efforts, a significant amount of organic waste still ends up in landfills because local organics recycling infrastructure is maxed out and it’s costly to transport the material out of the region. At full capacity, Kompogas SLO will digest 35,720 tons per year of organics that would otherwise be disposed at the Cold Canyon Landfill. The total GHG reductions over 10 years is equivalent to removing more than 1,600 cars from the road every year.

    Kompogas SLO and Valley Food Bank collaborated to apply for the CalRecycle grant and received a combined $4 million. The food bank will use $119,000 to purchase a new refrigerated truck to rescue edible food from the waste stream and redirect it to Californians in need. The rest will go toward the cost of the $7.77 million anaerobic digestion facility.

    Last year, Valley Food Bank provided $9.1 million worth of food to families living at or below the poverty line in the San Fernando Valley. With the new truck, the food bank will be able to respond to last-minute notifications to pick up meat and produce and expand its operations by 500 tons of fresh food per year.

    The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Organics Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade Program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, and recycling. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.

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

  • Contamination: It's a Dirty Word

    Do you toss your used cans in your recycling bin without rinsing them out? Do you throw random items in  your bin, hoping they might be recyclable?

    Please take 60 seconds to watch our contamination video and up your recycling game!

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Feb 14, 2019