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

  • 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

  • California Ramps Up Green Waste Recycling

    Get ready! California is gearing up to implement a new recycling program to combat climate change. Starting in 2022, cities and counties in California will be required to provide organics recycling collection services to all residents and businesses, which is a significant step toward combating the effects of climate change in California. Then- Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395 , Statutes of 2016) into law in 2016, establishing targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of statewide organics disposal by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. The bill establishes an additional target that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food be recovered for human consumption by 2025. Even though SB 1383 regulations do not go into effect until 2022, local jurisdictions are working with haulers and preparing to collect more organic waste from businesses and homeowners.

    California generates about 23 million tons of organic waste every year, and 5 to 6 million tons of that is food waste.

    When we landfill any recyclable material, it negatively affects our environment by requiring that we acquire raw virgin materials (like oil to make plastic or trees to make paper). Organic waste has an additional negative impact on California’s environment: When landfilled, organic waste emits methane gas. Methane is a climate-altering greenhouse gas with an impact on our atmosphere 70 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year horizon. In other words, landfilling our yard and food waste directly contributes to climate change in California, leading to increased air pollution and corresponding health concerns like asthma, drier forests that burn in wildfires more easily, cyclical droughts, and coastline erosion due to rising seas.

    Fortunately, organic waste can be recycled into beneficial products like compost, a powerful soil amendment, and renewable natural gas, an environmentally preferable alternative to fossil fuel. California compost is used by California farmers to increase the nutrients, water-holding capacity, and carbon content in soil, which helps grow stronger, healthier crops. Many cities throughout the state use RNG to power their public buses and city vehicle fleets.

    SB 1383 will provide many benefits to California. The statewide organics recycling program will create new recycling and manufacturing jobs. It will also help Californians save millions in health care costs each year by improving air quality and decreasing health impacts, such as premature deaths and hospital visits—especially for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, and people with chronic heart or lung disease.

    SB 1383 will also benefit our most vulnerable citizens. California’s growing edible food recovery network will capture food to help the 1 in 8 Californians, 1 in 2 UC students, and 1 in 5 California children who are food-insecure.

    SB 1383 is coming, and it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening our economy, and improving public health and the environment. You can learn more about SB 1383 on our Short-Lived Climate Pollutants webpage. You can learn more about organics recycling on our Recycle Organics webpage.

     

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Feb 11, 2019