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

  • CalRecycle Crews Stay Safe During Camp Fire Debris Removal Project

     

    Fire Debris Removal Crew meeting in a church

     

    Since the beginning of Camp Fire debris removal in February 2019, cleanup crews working under CalRecycle contracts have been meeting on Wednesday mornings for weekly all-hands safety meetings. At the peak of the project, thousands would pack into the Paradise Alliance Church, one of the largest buildings that survived the devastating November 2018 wildfire. Operations chiefs and safety officers from CalRecycle would reinforce safety protocols, provide training, and support workforce morale.

    At the meetings, crews were recognized for work that went beyond hauling debris to providing outstanding outreach and support for individual homeowners. With up to 150 workers scattered among the 150,000 acres of the burn scar, the morning meetings gave everyone a sense of how big the operation was and allowed them to see the other members of a recovery team that measured in the thousands.

     

    Fire safety meeting outside in early morning.

     

    With 99.9 percent of properties cleared, the numbers were much smaller for the all-hands meeting on Oct. 30, 2019. But with public safety power shutdowns in effect, the safety message was just as critical: Be careful in the wind, look for falling branches, and be aware of traffic and intersections. And speakers gave their talks not from a church stage with a sound system, but from the back of a pickup truck under flashlights.

     

    Fire Crew meeting outside

     

    Posted on In the Loop by Chris McSwain on Nov 14, 2019

  • Butte Strong: In Remembrance of the Paradise Camp Fire

    CalRecycle remembers the tremendous loss to Butte County and the communities of Paradise, Concow, and Magalia on the one-year anniversary of the Camp Fire. We honor their strength and resilience as they turn the page from recovery to rebuilding.

    Join us on Friday, November 8, at 11:08 a.m. for 85 seconds of silence for those whose lives were lost.

    picture of home being reconstructed.
    Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Nov 7, 2019

  • CalRecycle Cleans Up Paradise, Recycles Metal Debris

    CalRecycle’s contractors in Butte County have just recovered their 100 millionth pound of scrap metal from the Camp Fire debris in Paradise. For perspective, the Statue of Liberty weighs 450,000 pounds. The wildfire debris cleanup contractors averaged recovering the equivalent of one and a half Lady Liberties per day in metal since the cleanup started in February. 

    Nevertheless, metal is the smallest classification of debris being removed from the fire area and redirected to disposal sites and collection centers. Ash and burnt debris, concrete, and contaminated soil take up most of the truckloads; metal is a relatively scant 1.4 percent of the 3.6 million tons of debris collected. Despite being the smallest category, it’s important, because unlike ash, metal is recyclable.

    CalRecycle, under its mission to protect public health and the environment, ensures that these millions of tons of debris are safely disposed while maximizing the amount of recyclable materials recovered, especially metals. Cleanup crews gather and separate metal material to reduce the amount that will end up in landfills. The crew then washes it to clean off as much debris as possible before it is loaded into a dump truck and taken to a collection facility. 

    Burned vehicles by the way, were counted separately from scrap metal. More than 23,000 burned vehicles of all types have been recovered and delivered to the same collection facility in Oroville as the scrap metal. 

    How many truck loads has it taken to move 100 million pounds of recovered metal? More than 35,000! The dump trucks have a weight capacity of 10 tons, but they can only get about a ton and a half in each truck. Metal debris doesn’t lie flat and compact like soil or ash, so there is a lot of empty space in each load. To quote a veteran of many debris clean up projects, “Scrap metal is fluffy.” 

    Check out this video to learn more. 

    Camp Fire Metal Recovery YouTube video

    Posted on In the Loop by Chris McSwain on Oct 25, 2019