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

  • More Jobs, Less Pollution: CalRecycle Awards $24 Million in Grants to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Cap-and-trade dollars boost local economies with 21st Century infrastructure projects


    Media Contact: Lance Klug
    (916) 371-6293 |                                                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    SACRAMENTO—As an integral part of the state’s far-reaching effort to slow and reverse the effects of climate change, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has awarded $24 million in grants to help convert more of the state’s organic waste (food, green waste, and wood) into renewable energy and compost.

    “These latest climate investments provide a much-needed boost to California’s organic waste recycling capacity, which the state must roughly double to meet its greenhouse gas reduction and 75 percent recycling goals,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “These infrastructure projects will diversify our local economies—creating durable green jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

    When sent to landfills, organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a short-lived climate pollutant 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide. CalRecycle helps fund construction, renovation, or expansion of facilities in California that recycle organic material into value-added products like compost or renewable energy. 

    CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program  is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving human health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

    Of the $24 million allocated to CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program in 2016-17:

    • $12 million was dedicated to digestion projects, which turn organic waste into renewable energy and soil amendments. Maximum award: $4 million
    • $12 million was dedicated to compost operations—$3 million of which was allocated specifically for projects in rural areas. Maximum award: $3 million

    Demand in CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program well exceeded the $24 million in available funds for 2016-17, with 35 eligible applicants requesting $88.6 million. CalRecycle granted funds to the 10 highest scoring applicants based on criteria of greenhouse gas reductions, the amount of organic material diverted from landfills, benefits to disadvantaged communities, and project readiness.

    Many infrastructure project proposals included funding for food rescue efforts to recover landfill-destined, edible food for Californians in need. Food waste prevention remains the most environmentally beneficial way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While food rescue was not among the scoring criteria for the organics grant, it was a consideration for evaluating benefits to disadvantaged communities.

    FY 2016-17 Organics Grant Program Recipients

    Anaerobic Digestion  Projects:

    County Sanitation Districts  of Los Angeles County

    Los Angeles County


    Equipment upgrades to  complete organic food waste pre-processing and anaerobic digestion system.  Grantee will convert regional food waste into renewable gas for  transportation fuel. Includes dedicated funds for partnership with a local  food rescue entity.

    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    HZIU Kompogas SLO, Inc.

    San Luis Obispo County


    Design, build, and operate  a Kompogas anaerobic digestion facility. Grantee will convert regional  organic waste into renewable electricity and compost. Includes dedicated  funds for partnership with Valley Food Bank.

    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    Rialto Bioenergy Facility,  LLC

    San Bernardino County


    Equipment upgrades to in-vessel  digestion facility to process regional food waste into renewable electricity.  Includes dedicated funds for partnership with Helping Hands Pantry.

    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    Compost Projects:

    City of San Diego

    San Diego County


    Equipment upgrade of  current windrow composting facility to a covered aerated static pile system.  Will enable regional expansion of food waste composting program. Includes  dedicated funds for partnership with Kitchens for Good.

    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    Mid Valley Recycling, LLC

    Fresno County

    Expansion of current  aerated static pile composting system to support new organic waste recycling  programs in the community.


    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? No

    Salinas Valley Solid Waste  Authority

    Monterey County


    Expansion of current  organic chip and grind facility to include a food waste composting operation.  Includes equipment upgrades and dedicated funds for partnership with Food  Bank for Monterey County.

    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    Recology Yuba-Sutter

    Yuba County

    First of three -phase  project to design, build, and operate new covered aerated static pile compost  system to recycle regional green waste.


    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? No

    Rural Compost Projects:

    Napa Recycling & Waste  Services, LLC

    Napa County

    Equipment upgrades to  recover more food waste for grantee’s existing compost operation. Includes  dedicated funds for partnership with Emergency Food Bank of Stockton.


    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    South Lake Refuse Company,  LLC

    Lake County

    Equipment upgrades to  expand existing green waste composting site to include food waste composting.  Includes dedicated funds for partnership with Sacramento Food Bank and Family  Services.


    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? Yes

    West Coast Waste

    Madera County

    Design, build, and operate  new aerated static pile composting system to recycle regional organic waste.  An on-site learning center is also planned.


    • New Jobs? Yes
    • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
    • Food Rescue Component? No

    Total: $24,000,000

    Eligible applicants for CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program include cities, counties, and other local agencies; businesses; California universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; and qualifying Indian Tribes.

    Learn more about CalRecycle’s new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program, California’s new push to recover edible food for hungry people before it becomes waste, and the state’s latest investments to turn food and other organic waste into renewable energy or increase compost capacity and demand in California.

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Aug 17, 2017

  • $5 Million Available to Fight Climate Change, Feed Hungry

    Cap-and-Trade dollars fund food waste prevention and rescue projects throughout California

    Media Contact: Heather Jones
    (916) 319-9936 |

    As part of the state’s effort to combat climate change, divert organic materials from landfills and alleviate food insecurity in California, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is providing $5 million in grant funds for food waste prevention and food rescue.

    Grant awards range from $25,000 to $500,000 to accommodate small and large projects. The deadline to submit grant applications is July 18. 

    “Strengthening California’s food recovery infrastructure will help feed communities in need and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “Preventing food waste and recovering edible food is not only a way to battle hunger in our state, but to protect Californians and our natural resources from the ravaging effects of climate change.”

    Food waste comprises about 18 percent of the material disposed in California landfills, the highest amount of any material. As it decomposes, it emits methane, a short-lived climate pollutant that contributes to climate change. Much of the food waste and methane at landfills is preventable through smarter consumer planning and purchasing. Edible food can also be safely recovered and distributed to disadvantaged communities and elsewhere around the state.

    CalRecycle is currently accepting applications for the grants. Eligible entities include local governments; nonprofit organizations; private entities; state agencies; solid waste facilities; UC, CSU, and community college campuses; public school districts; and qualifying Indian Tribes. Eligible projects include those that prevent food waste from being generated and becoming waste normally destined for landfills and projects that result in rescued food being distributed to people in need.

    Food waste prevention and food rescue programs support the methane emissions reduction targets outlined in Senate Bill 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016):

    • SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025.
    • It also requires that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food be recovered for human consumption by 2025.

    The Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that uses cap-and-trade funds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment.  Related CalRecycle grant programs include organics grants for the development of composting and anaerobic digestion facilities throughout the state. Additional information is available on the CalRecycle Grants webpage.

    Connect With Us                
    CalRecycle is the state’s authority on recycling, waste reduction, and product reuse. CalRecycle plays an important role in the stewardship of California’s natural resources and promotes innovation and education to encourage economic and environmental sustainability.  For more information, visit

    Posted on In the Loop by Heather Jones on Jun 8, 2017

  • SoCal Economy of the Future Draws International Interest

    It’s not every day that a waste management facility draws interest from around the world. Then again, CR&R Environmental Services’ new eight-acre anaerobic digestion complex in Riverside County is no ordinary facility. Curious developers are flocking to see how this public-private partnership is turning food scraps into fuel and transforming Southern California’s green waste into a green economy of the future.

    “We’ve welcomed visitors from China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Korea, the Philippines,” says Mike Silva, CR&R Environmental project engineer—and those are just the ones that come to mind. “They’re very interested in the technology, and they like the industrial size of the operation,” he adds.

    With phase one of the project up and running, CR&R’s new AD facility in Perris can take in about 250 tons of organic waste per day from nearby communities. Those food scraps, yard trimmings, and other green waste are processed in an Eisenmann USA anaerobic digester, where the material is broken down into carbon-neutral renewable energy, with the help of Greenlane bio-gas upgrading technology. “The renewable gas we’re producing will operate our roughly 900-vehicle fleet,” explains David Fahrion, president of CR&R’s solid waste division. He says CR&R has also begun marketing its soil amendment and liquid fertilizer, valuable byproducts of the AD process, to agricultural markets across the state. 


    Upon completion of phase two, set for summer 2017, the AD facility will double its capacity to 500 tons of organic waste each day. Once phases three and four are finished, the facility will be among the largest of its kind, processing about 1,000 tons of organic waste daily. That’s organic waste that will never go to a landfill, where food and other green material decomposes and generates methane. This especially potent greenhouse gas has a heat-trapping effect at least 70 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span.

    In addition to slowing climate change, the new AD facility provides California with much-needed organics recycling infrastructure, helping Perris and surrounding communities comply with mandates outlined in SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016)AB 1826 (Chesbro, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014), and AB 1594 (Williams, Chapter 719, Statutes of 2014). The laws aim to remove much of the organic waste sent to California landfills each year. The material type represents more than a third of the state’s annual disposal stream.

    “CR&R’s new AD facility is the kind of infrastructure California needs to meet our targeted reductions for short-lived climate pollutants and reach AB 341’s ambitious goal of 75 percent recycling, composting, or source reduction of solid waste,” says Howard Levenson, deputy director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s Materials Management and Local Assistance Division. “We look at this facility as a model for how food waste can be handled throughout California.”

    CR&R spent more than a decade on research and development before breaking ground on the facility in 2014. “Currently, we’re about $56 million dollars into the $100 million dollar project,” Fahrion notes. “The grants we received have been critical to allow the development to occur as quickly as it has.” That includes a $3 million CalRecycle organics grant funded by California Climate Investments. The statewide program puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

    During construction, the AD project in Perris supports 100 full-time jobs in the city. “These are high-paying, skilled jobs,” project manager Mike Silva notes. “When we’re operating at full capacity, we’ll probably create an additional 25 long-term jobs.”


    Full capacity may not be too far off. “We’re receiving demands now for phase three because we’re close to meeting our tonnage levels for phases one and two,” Fahrion explains.

    “A lot of people have been watching for us to get up and running and to show that this concept does work. And I think we’re proving that now.”

    —Lance Klug
    Images courtesy of CR&R Environmental Services

    CalRecycle anaerobic digestion food rescue
    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on May 4, 2017