Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
Communities Get Environmental and Economic Boost from California Climate Investments
Media Contact: Lance Klug
(916) 341-6293 | Lance.Klug@calrecycle.ca.gov
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has awarded more than $25 million in California Climate Investments to bolster organics recycling infrastructure in the state and rescue edible food for Californians in need. The projects in 10 California communities are set to transform nearly a half-million tons of discarded food, green waste, and other organic materials into value-added products like biofuel, compost, fertilizers, and soil amendments.
“California has the opportunity to close the loop with organics by transforming the single largest part of our waste stream into a supply stream for local businesses,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “These California Climate Investments not only recycle California-generated waste into new and valuable products, they also create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.”
When sent to landfills, organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a short-lived climate pollutant 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide. CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program helps fund construction, renovation, or expansion of facilities in California that recycle organic material into products like compost and renewable energy.
CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving human health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. CalRecycle used Fiscal Year 2017–18 grant funds to award the following projects:
- Arakelian Enterprises Inc. (Doing business as Athens Services), San Bernardino County. Upgrade Victorville windrow composting facility to an aerated static pile composting system to increase capacity, reduce air emissions, and help protect water quality. $3,000,000
- Best Way Disposal Company, Inc. (Doing business as Advance Disposal Co.), San Bernardino County. Equipment upgrades at material recovery facility in Hesperia to remove contaminants from organic waste to divert the clean material for composting. $2,481,250
- Burrtec Waste Industries, Inc., Riverside County. Construction of new covered composting system at Robert A. Nelson material recovery facility and transfer station near Riverside. $3,000,000
- Contra Costa Waste Services (Partnering with Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano), Contra Costa County. Purchase of new equipment and infrastructure upgrades at Mount Diablo Resource Recovery Park to utilize existing anaerobic digesters for increased organic waste landfill diversion and biogas production. Includes a food rescue partnership with Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. $4,000,000
- CR&R Incorporated, Riverside County. Third of a three-phase project at a current anaerobic digestion facility in Perris. Expansion increases organic waste landfill diversion and increases biofuel used to fuel CR&R vehicle fleet. $4,000,000
- Recology Yuba-Sutter, Yuba County. First of a three-phase project to construct a new compost facility at Ostrom Road Landfill. This project received $2.8 million in a previous grant cycle. $216,865
- Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara County. Develop an anaerobic digestion facility at the Tajiguas Landfill to process currently landfilled organics into biogas and compost. $4,000,000
- Upper Valley Disposal Service (Partnering with Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services), Napa County. Construction of new “organics blending barn” to mix food, green, and wood waste for composting. Includes a food rescue partnership with Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. $1,250,000
- Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. (Partnering with Alameda County Community Food Bank), Alameda County. Purchase of pre-processing equipment for a new organic material recovery facility in San Leandro. Separated materials will be composted at a new facility co-located at the Davis Street complex. Includes food rescue partnerships with Alameda County Community Food Bank. $3,000,000
- West Coast Waste, Madera County. Construction of a new aerated static pile composting facility to divert currently landfilled green material. This project received $1.2 million in a previous grant cycle. $161,326
CalRecycle awards Organics Grants based on criteria of greenhouse gas reductions, the amount of organic material diverted from landfills, benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities, and project readiness. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, and other local agencies; businesses; California universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; and qualifying Indian Tribes. Maximum Organics Grant awards are $4 million for anaerobic digestion projects and $3 million for compost projects.
Learn more about CalRecycle’s new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program, California’s push to recover edible food for hungry people before it becomes waste, and the state’s latest investments to turn food and other organic waste into renewable energy or increase compost capacity and demand in California.Posted on In the Loop on Jul 5, 2018
Creative solutions key to success for state’s landmark new climate law
CalRecycle has long had a cooperative relationship with BioCycle, which focuses on organics recycling and publishes a magazine, hosts a website, and sponsors industry conferences. This year’s BioCycle West Coast 18 Conference was held last week, and CalRecycle Chief Deputy Director Ken DaRosa was the keynote speaker. CalRecycle provided the lead article for the magazine edition that focuses on the conference. The following is an abridged version of the full article.
The effects of global climate change are now upon us. It’s threatening lives, impacting our economy, and jeopardizing future generations. The question is now, what are we doing about it?
In California, slowing and eventually reversing the effects of climate change demands a collaborative effort to transform the state’s waste and recycling sector. It demands nothing short of an organics revolution.
Fortunately, that revolution is underway.
In 2016, Governor Edmund G. Brown signed legislation (Senate Bill 1383, Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) that targets reduction of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane. The law directs CalRecycle to adopt regulations and requirements to achieve a 50 percent reduction in organic waste disposal by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. The law further requires that 20 percent of the amount of edible food currently disposed be recovered for human consumption by 2025. By calling for a significant reduction in the current levels of organics disposal, this law signals a definitive shift in California’s approach to organic waste management.
Right now, California recycles roughly 10 million tons of organic waste each year through composting, chip and grind, biomass energy, and anaerobic digestion facilities. California’s existing organics recycling infrastructure consists of 179 composting facilities (of which 50 handle nearly all of the green waste and food waste sent to composting), 162 chip-and-grind operations, approximately 20 biomass conversion facilities, and 15 anaerobic digestion facilities. At full capacity, these facilities could process perhaps an additional 1 million tons of organic material per year.
To achieve the targets outlined in SB 1383, California must recycle at least 20 million tons of organic waste. Depending on facility size, CalRecycle estimates the state will need 50 to 100 new or expanded composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. The roughly $2 billion capital infrastructure investment required to meet SB 1383 goals is significant, but California is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge. Our businesses innovate, our industries adapt, and our local communities find solutions.
Community Support, Local Siting, and Permitting
It’s important to remember compost operations and anaerobic digestion facilities are located in real communities, where people live. While smart regulations will be instrumental to achieving California’s organic waste and methane emissions reduction targets, the success of SB 1383 also hinges on support from our local communities. There’s no question these organics recycling infrastructure projects help diversify our local economies and create durable green jobs that can’t be outsourced.
At the same time, communities have legitimate concerns about having such facilities as neighbors, among them increased traffic and road wear and potential odor issues. To that end, SB 1383 regulations must require that cities, counties, project proponents, and local enforcement agencies conduct community outreach when new projects are proposed, particularly in disadvantaged communities, to hear local concerns and discuss mitigation of potentially negative effects.
Food Waste Prevention and Food Rescue
Achieving the edible food waste reduction targets outlined in SB 1383 will not only help reduce methane emissions from organic waste disposal, but food rescue has the added benefit of feeding Californians in need. Food waste alone accounts for roughly 18 percent of total landfill disposal (5 to 6 million tons) each year.
CalRecycle must work with local leaders and organizations to identify points in the food distribution chain where edible food is disposed and figure out ways to recover that food for the roughly 1 in 8 Californians who are food insecure.
In 2018, CalRecycle awarded $9.4 million in Food Waste Prevention and Rescue grants to 31 projects throughout the state that:
- Decrease the estimated 6 million tons of food waste landfilled in California each year, and
- Increase the state’s capacity to collect, transport, store, and distribute more food to Californians in need.
The organic waste reduction and edible food recovery targets California has established in SB 1383 are bold and historic next steps. Like most achievements, we know progress in this effort must be built locally and from the ground up. Through a shared commitment from the public, the waste and recycling industry, local governments, and the state, we can show the world—once again—how California’s core values of environmental protection, public health and safety, and economic vitality can not only coexist, but collectively bolster California’s next revolution in sustainable waste management.Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Apr 2, 2018
The numbers are in! California’s world-leading Cap-and-Trade program to combat climate change is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening local economies, and improving public health and the environment across the state, especially in disadvantaged and low-income communities.
The California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Finance just released the latest annual report tracking the progress of California Climate Investments. Among the report’s highlights:
- More than $720 million in new funding for 2017 went to projects across all of California’s 58 counties.
- Since 2014, $6.1 billion has been appropriated to 17 state agencies for projects to reduce GHG emissions.
- Projects funded to date are expected to reduce GHG emissions by more than 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), roughly the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road for a year.
In 2017, CalRecycle awarded a total of $38 million in California Climate Investments through its Organics Grant, Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant, and Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass Grant Programs.
CalRecycle’s California Climate Investments in the waste and recycling sector continue to be among the most cost-effective of all climate reduction strategies, with grants ranging from $9 to $15 per metric ton of CO2e reduced.
The report features profiles of two CalRecycle grant recipients that highlight the impact these investments are having on individuals and communities.
Move over Farm-to-Fork! There is a new sustainability movement emerging in California that is reducing waste, cutting GHG emissions, and providing access to new green jobs in communities across the State. You can see it on display at Command Packaging’s manufacturing facility south of downtown Los Angeles in Vernon. Think of it as “Ag-to-Bag.”
The second phase of a massive $100 million organic waste recycling infrastructure project is now online in Riverside County. Southern California waste management and recycling company CR&R just doubled capacity to transform the region’s food and green waste into biofuel.
These success stories and others, as well as information on other climate investments and the program’s goals and targets, can be read online in the California Climate Investments 2018 Annual Report.Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Mar 26, 2018