New Funds Can Ease Pollution and Bring Green Jobs to California Communities

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: December 1, 2020
News Release #2020-12
Media Contact: Office of Public Affairs, Linda Mumma
916-323-0835 | Linda.Mumma@calrecycle.ca.gov

$1.35 million will support local projects that fight climate change

SACRAMENTO–California communities burdened by pollution and its health impacts can increase access to locally-produced food and air-cleansing green spaces with $1.35 million in Cap-and-Trade Funds.

Community projects eligible for funding will offset climate impacts by enhancing small-scale neighborhood gardens, urban farms and other public spaces through community composting thanks to a first of its kind Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program available from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

“These projects fight climate change in two ways,” acting CalRecycle Director Ken DaRosa said. “Helping communities divert green waste lowers climate pollutants emitted from landfills and creates richer soil that can pull more carbon from the air.”

community book sharing structure on property
Lusher green spaces unite neighborhoods with a common goal to fight climate change.

“Neighborhoods come together to fight climate change, helping gardens and natural spaces blossom with lusher plant life and trees that thrive thanks to well-tended compost projects,” CalRecycle Environmental Scientist Heather Williams said. “Neighbors tell us they gain a sense of connection and purpose from participating in these projects.”

The California Alliance for Community Composting (CACC), in collaboration with the People, Food, and Land Foundation (PFL), will disseminate funds awarded to them by CalRecycle to launch a network of community compost sites in six regions. December 15, 2020 is the final deadline to submit grant project applications.

The composting grants fund projects that collect compostable food and green waste from the community, then boost natural green spaces with trees and plants that improve air quality and community food gardens. This funding is expected to:

  • Support up to 50 community composting projects.
  • Create 25 to 30 local, green jobs.
  • Provide job training, community outreach and education to residents of underserved, low income, and social/environmental justice communities.

community garden

Compost in Green Spaces Fights Climate Change

Compost can help turn depleted dirt into nutrient rich, healthy soil that holds more water and helps pull more carbon out of the atmosphere. Plants grown in compost-amended soil are typically larger, stronger, and produce more crops. Compost projects save kitchen scraps and yard trimmings from emitting pollution when breaking down in a landfill. Instead, greens are returned to the soil to grow the next cycle of life.

California Climate Investments, Cap and Trade Dollars at Work logoCalRecycle’s Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program is part of the California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—prioritizing underserved communities

 

Join CalRecycle’s Community Composting Grant listserv and Environmental Justice listserv for program updates and funding opportunities.

California for All logoAt a Glance: Soon community food and yard waste recycling will start statewide

California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Law (SB 1383) builds upon the state’s commitment to lower pollution and climate emissions, improve health, and create local green jobs.

Starting in 2022, California cities and counties must collect food and yard waste, paper, and cardboard from all residents and businesses, turning it into compost and other green products like biofuel and electricity.

Statewide benefits:

  1. Reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions = to almost 2 million less cars
  2. Projected to yield $860 million to $2.4 billion in avoided climate impacts, including reduced wildfire risks and avoided relocations of coastal infrastructure.
  3. About $10.4 billion projected savings in health care and mortality costs.
  4. Reduced need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers while increasing crop yield by turning depleted dirt back into nutrient rich, water retaining, productive soil.

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CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.