Environmental Justice








CalRecycle’s Environmental Justice program works to ensure every Californian enjoys equitable protection from environmental harm, regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, income, or location.

Authentic and consistent engagement helps CalRecycle:

  • Understand community needs.
  • Provide equitable access to resources.
  • Confront barriers to progress.
  • Incorporate diverse perspectives into department programs and policies.

Get Email Updates About
Environmental Justice

Value-Based Communication for Sustainability and Social Justice Initiatives (Video)
Learn how to incorporate value-driven communication in your work to promote equitable and healthy California communities. YouTube (1:59:09) | Transcript

CalRecycle’s Environmental Justice Program

CalRecycle’s Environmental Justice program supports a healthy environment and economy for all Californians by:

CalRecycle is committed to including individuals, communities, and regulated businesses in the decision-making process through outreach in communities and communicating workshops and the monthly public meeting updates in plain language and simulcast in Spanish interpretation, as well as other languages upon request.

What Is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice means treating people of all races, cultures, and incomes fairly when developing, adopting, implementing, and enforcing environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Why Is Environmental Justice Important?

CalRecycle recognizes California’s diverse cultural strengths and different communication, environmental health, and economic needs, including those of Native Americans and disadvantaged communities.

Language Accessibility

Barriers, such as complex government processes and limited English language skills, may hinder full participation in important environmental programs.

Communities Overburdened by Pollution

Many Californians live in the midst of multiple sources of pollution, and some people and communities are more vulnerable to the effects of pollution than others.

Overall Improvements

  • Increase protection of public health and safety, and the environment, within disadvantaged communities.
  • Expand CalRecycle’s understanding of and services to California’s varied cultures.
  • Address language barriers to best serve communities by making documents and broadcasts available for translation or interpretation into other languages upon request.
  • Help minimize the negative impacts of solid waste recycling infrastructure on disadvantaged communities.
  • Increase community knowledge and capacity through environment-based education.
  • Highlight each person’s responsibility to:
    • Preserve the earth’s natural and cultural resources and
    • Protect equal access, rights, and enjoyment for future generations.

Participation in Decisions

  • Effectively communicate CalRecycle funding opportunities through outreach and education.
  • Provide accessible information about roles, responsibilities, and rules.
  • Help community members to participate in decision-making that impacts their well-being before decisions are made, including with local enforcement agencies, planning departments, cities, and counties for information sharing about local-level decisions.


  • Promote wide participation in CalRecycle programs by providing clear information about reducing waste and increasing reuse, recycling, and composting in both English and Spanish.
  • Ensure Environmental Justice interests are prioritized in CalRecycle grant funding decisions and other economic opportunities.
  • Continue research that promotes healthier lives and communities.
  • Supplemental Environmental Project Guidance for Local Enforcement Agency

Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities to CalRecycle (C3)
A guidebook to help all Californians access CalRecycle’s programs, services, and decision-making processes.

Image from CalEnviroScreen 3.0

CalEnviroScreen 3.0: California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool
Use this mapping tool to help identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution.

Report an Environmental Concern


The CalEPA Environmental Complaint System allows Californians to easily report an environmental problem anywhere in the state affecting the:

  • Quality of:
    • Air or
    • Water
  • Handling of:
    • Hazardous or
    • Solid waste
  • Use of pesticides

Report a Regional Environmental
Concern to IVAN

Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods (IVAN)
Learn how to report environmental issues in your community using the easy to use IVAN On-line reporting tool.

CalEPA Environmental Justice Program

US EPA Environmental Justice