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

  • CalRecycle Climate Investments Featured in Annual Report

    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 GrantFood 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. 

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    Command Packaging Recycled Plastic Manufacturing Upgrade Project, LA County

    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.”

     

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    CR&R, Inc. Anaerobic Digestion Expansion Project, Riverside County

    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.

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    Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Mar 26, 2018

  • Celebrating California's First Food Waste Prevention Week

    CalRecycle has partnered with the Public Health Alliance of Southern California and other state organizations to celebrate March 5-9, 2018, as California’s first Food Waste Prevention Week. As CalRecycle’s Executive Fellow, I have been working on projects related to edible food waste reduction. As a trained restaurant cook, I utilize many techniques and strategies to reduce food waste at home. Incorporating a few simple food waste prevention actions—such as freezing food, meal prepping and using leftovers—can immediately reduce food waste.

    Though I am new to the world of waste management policy, I have a lifelong dedication to environmental conservation and sustainable practices. In my prior career, before attending college, I worked in restaurants as a line cook for almost a decade. My background in professional kitchens instilled a passion for food waste prevention and reduction. 

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    Californians throw away nearly 12 billion pounds of food each year, which comprises about 18 percent of all the material in landfills. On average, a family of four pays about $1,500 toward 1,000 pounds of food ultimately thrown in the trash every year. Besides the environmental and fiscal consequences of food waste, Californians frequently dispose of food while others in our state go without. According to 2014 data, 5.4 million Californians are food-insecure, meaning they are uncertain of where their next meal will come from. Additionally, 1 in 4 children in California don’t have enough food to eat.

    Food Waste Prevention week aims to raise awareness about the impacts of food waste in our homes, workplaces, and communities. During Food Waste Prevention Week, I plan to share simple ways to reduce food waste at home. 

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    Stay tuned next week for resources, tips, and ideas. To learn more, please visit Save The Food, a national campaign led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ad Council to raise awareness about food waste and inspire more people to reduce it. Interested in other ways to reduce food waste? Check out the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Resource Library and CalRecycle’s Resource Directory.

    Posted on In the Loop by Allegra Curiel on Mar 1, 2018

  • California’s Bottle Bill Turns 30

    This month marks 30 years since California implemented the landmark California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, also known as AB 2020 (Margolin, Chapter 1290, Statutes of 1986). The program was designed to be a self-funded operation that accomplished two main goals:

    • Reducing litter
    • Achieving a recycling rate of 80 percent for eligible containers

    Since the program was first implemented in 1987, the recycling rate of eligible containers has increased from 52 percent to a program high of 85 percent in 2013. In addition to creating and sustaining one of the largest recycling infrastructures in the nation, California’s beverage container recycling program has supported thousands of jobs in the state’s recycling industry and kept more than 360 billion bottles and cans out of California landfills and off the streets—reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with mining and refining of new raw materials.

    As California celebrates the many successes of its Bottle Bill 30 years after implementation, the state is also working to address new challenges to the program posed by a downturn in the market value of recycled materials. This has led to the closure of hundreds of beverage container buyback centers, leaving fewer convenient options for consumers to cash in their empty bottles and cans. As a result, after years of recycling rates exceeding the statutory goal of 80 percent, California’s rate dipped to 79.8 percent in 2016. Interested parties are looking at ways to strengthen the program to ensure its long-term sustainability.

    Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about California’s Beverage Container Recycling Program.

    What is California Refund Value?

    California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid to consumers when they recycle beverage containers at certified recycling centers. The refund value established for eligible beverage containers is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater.

    Where can I find the nearest recycling center?

    There are approximately 1,600 CalRecycle-certified, privately operated recycling centers in California. Call 1-800-RECYCLE or visit our online recycling center locator to find the certified recycling center nearest you.

    What other recycling options are there?

    In addition to a certified recycling center, consumers can donate recyclables to a community service program, a drop-off or collection program, or a curbside recycling program. As with recycling centers, these programs are operated by independent businesses or local governments, not the State of California.

    How much do recycling centers pay per pound for cans and bottles?

    Currently, state certified recycling centers pay a minimum of $1.58 per pound CRV for aluminum cans, $1.23 per pound CRV for clear PET plastic bottles, $0.56 per pound CRV for HDPE plastic bottles (similar to the large water jugs), and $0.104 per pound CRV for glass bottles. These CRV rates are updated every six months.

    Are recycling center operators state employees?

    No. The owners and employees of recycling centers are not State employees. CalRecycle is responsible for certifying recycling centers to participate in the program, but this certification does not confer any “state” employment status.

    How are recycling funds spent? (Fiscal Year 2016-2017 estimates)

    Sales of CRV beverage containers in Fiscal Year 2016-17 are projected to bring in approximately $1.2 billion in deposits to California’s Beverage Container Recycling Fund. Of that total, $1.05 billion goes toward CRV redemption payments to consumers.

    When used beverage containers are thrown away instead of recycled, the unclaimed CRV refunds are used to provide:

    For more information, see CalRecycle’s FAQ page on beverage container recycling. Not enough? Find even more Frequently Asked Questions here.

    Here’s the movie we made to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Bottle Bill—enjoy!

     
    Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Sep 11, 2017