Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
California has made combatting climate change a top priority for our state, and for good reason. Our communities are already battling the negative effects of climate change that endanger public health and the environment. Fortunately, CalRecycle and other state departments are taking steps to reduce its effects.
Recycling for Climate
Recycling combats climate change in several ways. First, it reduces the need to extract raw materials to manufacture new products, which reduces energy use and the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. For example, every 10 pounds of aluminum you recycle prevents 37 pounds of carbon emissions.
SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) establishes a target to achieve a 75 percent reduction of currently landfilled organic waste by 2025 and diverting this material into recovery activities. It also requires that cities and counties provide organics recycling services to residents and businesses, implement an edible food recovery program, and purchase recycled organics products like compost and renewable natural gas. SB 1383 will also generate thousands of new, locally based recycling jobs.
Recycling organic materials like yard and food waste prevents methane gas emissions. When landfilled, organic waste decomposes and releases methane into the atmosphere. This is a big deal, because methane is a super pollutant at least 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Fortunately, organic materials are easily recycled into beneficial products like compost, which enriches the nutrients and water-holding capacity of soils, and renewable natural gas, which can power vehicles without using fossil fuels.
California Climate Investments: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grants and Loans
CalRecycle established the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant and Loan Programs to provide financial incentives for capital investments in infrastructure designed to address climate change and other environmental goals. This includes aerobic composting, anaerobic digestion, and recycling and manufacturing facilities that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One priority is to realize environmental and economic benefits in disadvantaged and low-income communities. “Putting Cap-and-Trade Dollars to Work for California” highlights past projects and benefits to local communities.
California is experiencing the effects of climate change with cycling droughts, reduced Sierra Nevada snowpack (which provides 60 percent of the state’s water), longer and more extreme fire seasons, and rising sea levels. CalRecycle is directing many efforts to reduce and reverse these dramatic changes to our climate. From regulating the management of materials to their highest and best use, to investing in the necessary infrastructure California needs to have a closed-loop recycling system, CalRecycle is making a significant difference with tangible actions to address climate change. But perhaps more than anything, we value our partnership with the people of California who play a vital role in recycling for climate by adopting the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Learn more about CalRecycle’s efforts to combat climate change at our Climate Change webpage.
—Christina FilesPosted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jan 21, 2019
Did you know composting your food waste helps the environment? When landfilled, organic material emits methane gas, which directly contributes to climate change. If you have outdoor space, consider composting to prevent methane emissions and to create a rich soil amendment for your own use. Find basic directions on our compost webpage, and check out these tools that can make it easier to compost at home.
Using a pail or crock to collect coffee grounds, onion peels, potato peels, and table scraps in your kitchen will reduce the number of trips you make to the green bin or your own compost bin.
Kitchen pails and crocks are available in a variety of materials like stainless steel, ceramic, bamboo, and plastic. Look for a container with a lid, which prevents odors from permeating your kitchen. Or consider lining your pail with a compostable bag, which cuts down on odors and makes it easier to transport green waste to your curbside bin. (Note: Check with your local hauler to see if they accept compostable bags. Some haulers consider compostable bags to be contaminants.) Some pails and crocks work with charcoal filters, which also reduce odors.
Some Californians have a large backyard and can manage a compost pile on the ground, while others may have limited space or have concerns about attracting rodents with food scraps. If you want to contain your compost, you have several options. Wire cages, plastic bins, and wooden crates expose the outer edges of your compost pile to the air, but they require a manual turn with a pitchfork to aerate the center of the pile.
Want to speed up the process? Consider composting with worms. Vermicomposting is an efficient way to compost in a small space, and worm compost is considered by many in horticulture to be the very best soil amendment available.
Another option is a composting tumbler, which does not require heavy lifting to aerate the pile. Spin or turn your tumbler to aerate your compost more efficiently, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to convert organic waste into compost. Tumblers range in size from 25 gallons to 170 gallons, which makes them versatile options for every household.
If you use a traditional compost pile or bin, a manual aerator tool can help you mix your compost pile without heavy lifting. If your pile isn’t transforming organic material into compost efficiently, consider troubleshooting with a compost thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
Home composting creates a valuable soil amendment that contributes to healthier and more abundant produce in your backyard garden. We can each do our part to protect the environment and human health by reducing food waste and composting our kitchen scraps.Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 20, 2018
In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new law requires that CalRecycle implement regulations to reduce organic waste disposal by 50 percent by 2020, and 75 percent by 2025. It also requires that not less than 20 percent of edible food that is currently disposed of is recovered for human consumption by 2025.
At CalRecycle’s monthly public meeting on Tuesday, staff will recommend approval to complete and file the draft regulations with the Office of Administrative Law and begin the formal rulemaking process. This step has been preceded by almost two years of informal stakeholder workshops and statewide cost-benefit analyses.
In non-government-ese: We’ve been working hard to figure out the best way to implement this new law, and we’ve gotten a lot of input from local communities and businesses, and we’ve constructed a detailed plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed hungry Californians. This is a big deal!
Also at the public meeting, CalRecycle staff will seek approval to conclude the formal rulemaking process for AB 901(Gordon, Chapter 746, Statutes of 2015). This law changes how organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are reported to CalRecycle and will help the department focus its efforts to increase recycling in the state.
In non-government-ese: Draft regulations, which detail the AB 901 reporting requirements and how CalRecycle will enforce them, have already been reviewed by OAL, and this action will finalize them. This is also a big deal.
We’ll also announce grant recipients for our Tire Incentive Program and for projects using rubberized pavement and tire-derived aggregate. All three of these grant programs help California make good use of some of the 48 million waste tires managed in the state each year, rather than have them end up in landfills.
CalRecycle December 2018 Public Meeting
10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18
Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
1001 I St., Sacramento, CA
You can find the full agenda (and a lot of SB 1383 documents, including a few explanatory infographics) for CalRecycle’s December 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 by Heather Jones on Dec 17, 2018