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

  • Sacramento Launches New Recycling App

    Sacramento Recylcing App

    Do you walk around your house and wonder if a certain item in your kitchen or your bathroom is recyclable or not? Well, the City of Sacramento is trying to make the decision-making process a whole lot easier. On Earth Day, the city officially launched the SacRecycle app, designed to provide quick access to recycling tips.

    A main component of the app is the Waste Wizard, which is a database of hundreds of household items. You can use the app to see if an item is recyclable and learn about proper disposal methods.

    The SacRecycle app also features garbage, recycling, street sweeping, and yard waste calendars, along with an interactive waste-sorting game for kids.

    The app works on both Apple and Android devices. Sacramento residents, check it out and share it with your family and friends!  

    Here’s a video with more information about the SacRecycle app.  

    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Aug 26, 2019

  • Through the Lens: A Photographic Look at CalRecycle's Programs

    You’ve heard it before--a picture is worth a thousand words! And at CalRecycle we have thousands of pictures (you don’t have to do the math) because we have a multitude of programs, events, and projects we’re constantly working on. As the unofficial photographer here at CalRecycle headquarters, I’m fortunate enough to witness and document the inner workings of the department. Here is a small sampling of my favorite photos from the past five years. If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow California EPA on Instagram--we contribute images often and you can see what our partner departments are up to as well!

    Facility Tours

    Wildfire Cleanups

    Education and the Environment Initiative

    Environmental events

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Aug 19, 2019

  • Community Gardens–Providing More Than Food

    Research studies and personal experiences attest that community gardens provide environmental and social benefits in the face of environmental injustices. From mitigating climate change to increasing food access, community gardens positively impact lives.

    From reduced air quality to displacement after natural disasters, climate change disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color. However, community gardens can process organic waste through onsite compost operations. Composting organic waste reduces emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, by preventing organic waste decomposition in landfills.

    Community gardens make use of local organic waste, which helps reduce transportation emissions from diesel trucks taking organic waste to a large commercial facility. Reduced trucking not only mitigates climate change but also reduces local air pollution that contributes to higher levels of asthma and other serious health problems in environmental justice communities. 

    Composting also returns organic matter to the soil and supports the microorganisms that keep soils healthy. Since soils are a major carbon reservoir, maintaining healthy soils through compost and other methods is an important part of the multifaceted climate change mitigation strategy.

    Community gardens also increase access to fresh, healthy foods. Many environmental justice communities live in food deserts, where there is limited access to affordable and nutritious food. These gardens are a source of in-season, nourishing produce. They also provide educational opportunities for adults and children to understand how their food is grown and create a working space for community members to get out in nature, which promotes mental and emotional well-being. 

    Community garden in Pomona

    A community garden in Pomona, CA. Photo from Elinor Crescenzi

    Boston-based researchers who partner with the environmental justice nonprofit The Food Project published a research paper (Sharp and Brabander, 2017) that discusses the social benefits of community gardens in urban spaces. Not only does urban agriculture address food deserts and access to fresh, healthy food but it also empowers youth, creates an avenue for political organizing, and provides cultural preservation through growing culturally appropriate food in immigrant communities. 

    CalRecycle recognizes the important role of community gardens in environmental justice communities. That is why CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline announced the department’s new “Community Composting” grant program in March. The program will fund composting and related activities in community gardens that divert organic waste from landfills in environmental justice communities.

    The Environmental Justice Program at CalRecycle is also hosting a brown bag speaker series to elevate the ways in which environmental justice communities are impacted by and interact with the waste sector. The next brown bag event will feature Elinor Crescenzi, a community gardener, doctoral student, and social justice activist from Pomona. Elinor will describe the scientific research supporting the social, environmental, and health benefits of community gardens. She will also discuss the success and challenges of community gardens in Pomona, including organic waste processing capacity with on-site composting. Please join us this week in the Coastal Hearing Room on July 10 from noon to 1 p.m., or join us by webcast
    Posted on In the Loop by Ciaran Gallagher on Jul 8, 2019