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

  • Environmental Bucket List

    It’s inevitable—whenever the New Year comes around, we all start thinking about what we’d like to accomplish in the upcoming 12 months. This year I’m taking a different approach and rather than making resolutions I have to keep all year, I’m making a list of items I’d like to do (or have done very recently) that benefit me and the environment.

    Environmental Bucket List

    Plant a Tree

    I’m proud to be able to check this off my list—three times over, actually—as of a few months ago. Originally my home came with a beautiful old tree in the backyard, but it was unhealthy and eventually cracked in half and fell over. Taking advantage of the free shade tree program in my city (see if your town has one), I was able to “adopt” three small native trees that will eventually grow into medium-sized shade trees, which will clean the air and lower my energy bill!

    Vermicompost

    Composting your organic waste is one of the best things anyone can do for the environment because it has so many environmental and economic benefits. It can add nutrients to the soil, prevent harmful methane gases from entering the atmosphere, and suck CO2 from the air. What I like about vermicomposting is the worms do the work for you. There are several ways to do it, but I plan to create a worm tube in the yard since it’s simple and effective. You can make one for your yard and toss in your food scraps, and the worms will do the rest.

    Go Paperless

    If you still get junk mail in your box, you can understand the frustration. Since I do pretty much everything online, there is no real need for mailed coupons, bank statements, or bills. I’ll be making it a point to sort through my bank, loan, and membership paperwork as it comes in so it’s not a time-consuming task. And for that overall sweep, these junk mail resources on CalRecycle’s website will come in handy. I can’t wait to open the mailbox only to see a birthday card from my grandma!  

    Go Au Natural

    Adding more nature products in my home can offer many benefits, including less waste, fewer chemicals, and sometimes cost savings. I have already started using soap nuts, wool dryer balls, and essential oils, but have not switched over to chemical-free cleaning products like vinegar, lemon, salt, and baking soda—ingredients that are less expensive than traditional cleaning products, but often just as effective.

    While not on my bucket list (I’ve already checked some off), here are some examples of items you can add to your own list. Try alternative forms of transportation like biking, walking, skateboarding, roller skating, carpooling, or good old-fashioned public transit. Upcycle a garage sale or thrift shop find to add character to your home or wardrobe. Adopt some houseplants for better air quality in your home or office. And finally, my favorite since I have been a lifelong vegetarian, go meatless for a bit or altogether if it fits your dietary needs.

     

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jan 24, 2019

  • CalRecycle Grant Funds Yolo County Slough Cleanup

    A rural area in Yolo County that has proven to be both a haven for songbirds and a target for illegal dumping is getting cleaned up with funding from CalRecycle.

    Landowners worked with the Yolo County Resource Conservation District to apply for a grant to clean up illegally dumped material, including garbage, appliances, and an estimated 250 to 500 waste tires, along a 15-acre section of Babel Slough. CalRecycle awarded the conservation district a $50,000 Farm and Ranch Cleanup and Abatement Grant for the project.

    Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps workers pull a large bag of garbage up an embankment at Babel Slough.

    Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps workers pull a large bag of garbage up an embankment at Babel Slough.

    The farm and ranch grant program plays a vital role in protecting human health and the environment. This portion of Babel Slough winds through active farmland, and farmers use the water to irrigate adjacent fields. Local farmers and ranchers pick up waste along the banks and roadways on a weekly basis and dispose of it legally, but they sought help for the material that required special equipment and a more concerted effort, including tires and appliances partially sunken in mud at the bottom of steep embankments. The resource conservation district joined forces with the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, which has conducted similar cleanups, for the project.

    After several hours, conservation corps workers had pulled piles of trash, including tires and appliances, from the water, and put them in piles along Babel Slough Road for removal. The piles lined the road for more than half a mile.

    In 2018, another stretch of the slough was cleaned up with a previous grant from CalRecycle. The conservation district intends to apply for a third grant for the final stretch in an upcoming grant cycle. Grants are limited to $50,000 per cleanup or abatement project, with a limit of $200,000 per year.

    While the project will result in cleaner irrigation water for the nearby agricultural fields, it will also provide a healthier habitat for the plants and animals that live there, including tree swallows, bay-breasted warblers, black-chinned sparrows, and American redstarts.

    Left: Workers bag illegally dumped material at the bottom of the slough. Right: Debris is piled at the side of Babel Slough Road for removal.

    Left: Workers bag illegally dumped material at the bottom of the slough. Right: Debris is piled at the side of Babel Slough Road for removal. 

    For more information, including how to apply for a grant, see our Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program webpage.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jan 17, 2019

  • CalRecycle's Project Medley

     

    At CalRecycle, we’re constantly working every aspect of “reduce, reuse, recycle” to protect human health and the environment. Tomorrow’s monthly public meeting offers a glimpse at the wide variety of work we do. Here are a few items on the agenda:

    • Review and consider PaintCare’s most recent annual report. PaintCare is responsible for establishing convenient paint collection sites throughout California to increase the recycling of leftover paint.
    • Announce a Jan. 30 workshop to hear feedback on draft concepts for implementing the state’s new Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program. For more information on this topic, see our Sharps Waste Disposal webpage.
    • Present updates, including enforcement activities, on our Beverage Container Recycling Program.
    • Consider a $2 million greenhouse gas reduction loan for Peninsula Plastics Recycling, Inc. to process low-grade plastics the state previously exported to China, which is no longer accepting such material.
    • Discuss ways to help local jurisdictions implement SB 1383, which requires them to develop organics recycling programs and recover edible food for human consumption.

    Here’s the lowdown:

    CalRecycle January 2019 Public Meeting
    10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15
    Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    You can find the full agenda for CalRecycle’s January public meeting here. If you can’t make it in person, join us by webcast (the link will go live shortly before the meeting begins).

    Posted on In the Loop on Jan 14, 2019