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

  • CalRecycle Launches New Recycling and Disposal Reporting System

    CalRecycle Launches New Recycling and Disposal Reporting System


    As a state with more than 40 million residents, California generates a lot of waste—to the tune of 77.2 million tons in 2017 alone. In 2019, CalRecycle launched a new Recycling and Disposal Reporting System to track how organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are managed throughout the state. Regulated businesses have registered and, in some cases, have already started reporting data to CalRecycle. The department expects to release the first quarterly report in January 2020.

    Under the previous reporting system, information was reported to counties and regional agencies that aggregated the data before sending it to CalRecycle. To better understand the composition of our waste streams, CalRecycle supplemented that data with detailed waste characterization studies.

    The new system builds on these efforts by requiring recycling and composting businesses, facilities, and operations to report directly to CalRecycle, thereby streamlining the submittal process and helping CalRecycle not only understand what is being recycled, but also where in the state materials are managed. With better data, CalRecycle can more accurately assess the waste and recycling industry landscape in order to identify specific challenges and promulgate potential solutions.  

    Regulated businesses are starting to report their data in incremental steps as materials flow through collection centers and transfer stations to recyclers, composters, and landfills. Quarter Three (July-September) 2019 data will be fully reported by the end of December 2019, and CalRecycle will analyze and report the results in January 2020.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 24, 2019

  • Fall Into Composting

    Dry leaves, twigs, paper, and branches are powerful sources of carbon for compost piles.

     

    Autumn is finally here, and the leaves are beginning to change colors. Pretty soon, people will be raking bright orange and yellow leaves from their lawns. It’s the perfect time of year to start composting – if you start now, you’ll have finished compost in time for your spring garden and flower beds.

    Compost is an organic material made from recycled green and brown materials (like landscape trimmings and branches). Pile these up in a mound or toss them into a compost drum barrel, and pretty soon you will have a robust soil amendment for your garden. You can find more information on our website about home composting.

    Compost has many benefits for homeowners. It retains soil moisture, which is especially helpful during the summer. It keeps weed growth down, which makes gardening much easier. Compost also provides nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers. It even adds carbon to the soil, which directly combats climate change.

    Check out our Compost: Getting Started video for more information.

    YouTube video. Compost: Getting Started
    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 17, 2019

  • Managing Food Waste with Bugs

    Black soldier fly larvae

     

    On the UC Davis campus, a group of researchers is breeding lots of bugs. I mean, a lot. 

    “At any given time, we could have a million flies,” said Trevor Fowles, a graduate student in the Department of Entomology and Nematology.

    The university researchers are exploring how to use black soldier fly larvae to break down organic waste—like almonds, wine waste, and tomatoes—and convert it into useful products.

    “Fats from the soldier fly can be converted into machine lubricant and oils that you can put into animal feeds,” Fowles said. “Their frass (powdery white refuse) is rich in nutrients and can be added to composting operations.”  

    With SB 1383 requiring 50 percent reduction in the level of organice waste by next year and a 75 percent reduction by 2025, these little flies might end up playing a key role in greenhouse gas reduction.   

    “We need to keep these foods out of the landfills and reduce our carbon footprint,” Fowles said. “The black soldier flies are just one way we can eliminate this type of waste.”

    In July, Fowles and a group of partners started their own business called Biomilitus, hoping to take the black soldier fly concept to businesses throughout the state. 

    “It (fly larvae) would be interesting to commodities groups who are trying to deal with their waste and trying to make an eco-friendly product,” Fowles said. “So, the almond board and tomato growers, they would be more interested if we had an insect that’s specifically bred to handle their waste products.”

    See the video below for a closer look at these bugs doing what they do.

     

    CalRecycle video: Black soldier fly larvae eating organic waste
    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Sep 30, 2019