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

  • Introducing CalRecycle’s Zero Waste Webpages

    CalRecycle’s zero waste team has added content to our Zero Waste webpage just as the announcement of the rebranding of the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council’s certification to the new TRUE Zero Waste Certification occurs. TRUE stands for “Total Resource Use and Efficiency” and the rating system is now administered by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) and housed under the U.S. Green Business Council (USGBC).

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    Businesses participating in the Zero Waste Certification program strive to divert 90 percent of their overall waste from landfill and incineration.

    CalRecycle’s Zero Waste Businesses webpage has new content designed for businesses striving for zero waste, including case studies and information about various certification programs.

    The Grass Roots Recycling Network (GRRN) describes zero waste as “a goal, a process, a way of thinking that profoundly changes the approach to resources and production. Not only is zero waste about recycling and diversion from landfills, it also restructures production and distribution systems to prevent waste from being manufactured in the first place.”

    “A zero waste system enables communities to not only protect the environment, but uncover economic opportunities,” says Stephanie Barger, director of market development for Zero Waste Programs with TRUE. “It reduces costs and improves efficiency, and by championing a zero waste economy, we’re helping transform the way we do business.”

    In 2013, CalRecycle showed its support for the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (now TRUE) by becoming a founding member. CalRecycle recognized that the Zero Waste Certification for businesses supports the goals of AB 341 to increase the state’s rate of recycling, composting and source reduction to 75 percent. Through this partnership, CalRecycle employees have had access to zero waste workshops, webinars, and conferences and have had opportunities to engage with like-minded individuals and organizations. CalRecycle has compiled a resources webpagehighlighting other zero waste organizations and educational programs.

    Are you wondering if your city or county has a zero waste policy or program? Visit the Zero Waste Communities webpage for a list and find other tools for local governments as well.

    To read more about the new partnership that administers the TRUE Zero Waste Certification system, please see the U.S. Green Business Council’s TRUE announcement.

    —Angela Vincent

    Posted on In the Loop by Angela Vincent on Nov 2, 2017

  • CalRecycle Staff Attends LA Environmental Justice Symposium

    The Environmental Health and Enforcement Symposium, hosted in part by the Los Angeles Environmental Justice Network, took place on April 10and 11 in downtown Los Angeles. Communication—both among CalEPA’s boards, departments, and offices and between regulators and community members—was a key theme of the symposium. CalRecycle representatives attended to hear directly from community members and to network with other regulatory agencies.

    Environmental justice advocates and employees from different state and local agencies attended and gave presentations. Community members shared concerns about pollution in their communities and asked about enforcement of environmental laws. Government officials discussed how to work with state agencies to better protect communities near regulated facilities.

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    Workshops and sessions were held to familiarize attendees with tools such as CalEnviroScreen, the state’s tool to identify communities overburdened by pollution; the Spatial Prioritization Geographic Information Tool (SPGIT), which helps identify sources and threats to our groundwater; and Geo Tracker GAMA, the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program that displays water quality data from various sources.

    A panel titled “Creating Effective Community Partnerships” brought together governmental officials and community advocates to offer tips and best practices for partnerships and to discuss roadblocks to effective communication.

    In addition, the recent Paramount Enforcement Initiative was discussed as a case study in which different regulating agencies came together to effectively address a direct health concern in the city of Paramount.

    Here are some helpful tools and resources highlighted during the symposium:

    CalRecycle continues to strive for better communication with communities and to ensure that environmental justice principles are reflected in all our  data-sf-ec-immutable="">.

    To learn more about CalRecycle’s environmental justice program please visit: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/EnvJustice/

     

    Posted on In the Loop by Claudia Espinoza-Castro and Angela Vincent on Jun 5, 2017

  • How to Host an Eco-Friendly Picnic

    Entertaining in the great outdoors is a lot of fun. Instead of buying dishes and decorations for each event, think about your overall entertaining style and invest in some reusable items that will be kinder to Mother Earth and your pocketbook in the long run. Pick out classic designs in coordinating color schemes to get the most mileage out of your picnic supplies. Swap out single-use items for items you can pull out of your picnic basket year after year.

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    Upgrade your picnic entertaining style by investing in reusable plates, serving dishes, and cutlery. You can go high-end and shop at department stores, but you can also find beautiful, economical options at discount stores. No matter your budget, you can host a low-waste picnic for your friends and family.

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    Some people choose paper or thin plastic tablecloths for easy cleanup, but that creates a lot of waste at the end of your party. Why not pick out a versatile blanket or tablecloth that can be washed or wiped down after each use? You’ll spend far less time wrangling flyaway tablecloths in the spring breeze if they’re thicker than tissue paper!

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    Nothing adds a classy touch to an event like offering a guest a real glass. For the great outdoors, swap out thin glasses for acrylic tumblers or even sturdy mason jar glasses. You’ll throw away far less at the end of the day by giving people a reusable beverage container.

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    Party decorations can be tricky because hosts often want to change themes and styles with each occasion. Think beyond the streamers and dollar store throwaway centerpieces, and opt instead for fresh flowers in classic mason jars. Tie a scrap of fabric or ribbon around the jars to add a festive touch. Or, consider making or buying fabric bunting flags in your favorite colors that will add your personal style and flair to each gathering.

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    No one wants to get dehydrated at a picnic, but you can go through a lot of bottles and cans in an afternoon party, especially when you’re outside! Consider providing drinks in large dispensers instead of serving individual beverages. People can use their reusable tumblers or mason jar glasses and curb the amount you’ll have to recycle after the party.

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    Make cleanup easy on yourself at the end of the day and bring trash and recycling tubs to your picnic spot. If you’re handy, try making a recycling tub cart out of PVC pipes and wheels to make transporting the tubs a little easier. 

    Nothing beats a great spring picnic. Swap out one or two items each season until your picnic basket supplies are totally reusable. If you’re worried about transporting glass mason jars or other breakable items, consider buying a yard or two of felt and sliding felt discs between plates and serving dishes. Use old towels to twist between mason jars and tuck them into a tote or a sturdy box. Wash up at the park water spigot with a portable tub, dish soap, and wash cloth. Just remember to pour your leftover suds down the park bathroom drain to protect the environment.

    Now, get out there and have a picnic!

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Jun 1, 2017