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

  • Back to School Tips: Eco-Friendly Lunch Ideas

    Eco-Friendly Lunch Ideas

    It’s that time of year when parents are helping kids gear up to go back to school. It’s also a good time to hit the sustainability “reset” button because you’re already in planning mode, reorganizing your life, and buying new supplies. Here are some eco-friendly ways to pack sustainable lunches for school!

    Upgrading the Lunch Box

    Hopefully, you’re already packing lunches in reusable boxes or bags, but if not, it’s a good time to make the switch. Using an insulated lunch cooler or small ice packs can mean the difference between kids eating food or tossing it out. No one wants to bite into a lukewarm sandwich with mayo, right? There are many lunch totes to choose from, and there are even brown canvas bags that look like brown paper bags, if you’re waxing nostalgic.

    Reusable Food Containers

    When it comes to lunchtime convenience, it’s easy to grab the single-serving packages of cookies, chips, and other shacks, but all that packaging leads to a lot of waste. Reduce your waste by purchasing large bags of food and dividing individual portions into reusable containers. There are many options out there, including bento boxes for kids, silicone storage bags, and reusable beeswax food wrap.

    Reduce Food Waste

    Californians throw away 6 million tons of food waste every year. Reduce your children’s food waste by asking them what they actually eat and what they give or throw away and then adjust what you pack accordingly. Find out if their school participates in “share tables,” where kids can put unopened food they don’t want for others to take. Consider getting involved with your parent teacher association and raising awareness on ways to reduce food waste at school.

    The USDA offers some insights on how to reduce food waste in schools. Learn more on CalRecycle’s Back to School Waste Prevention webpage.

     

    —Christina Files

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Aug 12, 2019

  • Santa Barbara County Uses CalRecycle Grant Funds to Rebuild Roadway with Recycled Tires

     

    Santa Barbara County builds retaining wall with recycled tires

    How do you repurpose 81,000 recycled tires? Well, use them to create a new retaining wall, of course. 

    That’s what happened with a recent road stabilization project in Santa Barbara County.  This unique application utilized 810 tons of tire-derived aggregate to backfill a retaining wall composed of large, rock-filled, welded wire baskets called gabions. 

    In March 2018, CalRecycle awarded the county $158,241 in Tire-Derived Aggregate Grant Program funds to purchase the TDA material. 

    Prior to the project, failed soil in the embankment caused erosion to the old roadway and shoulder. The ongoing failure also created large cracks in the asphalt surface.

    But the new retaining wall is expected to have longer staying power due to the TDA material. UC San Diego researched the road repair technique and determined that TDA is seismically safe for retaining walls and for road repairs and will not degrade due to poor underlying soils or saturated conditions.

    For more information about this project, read our press release and watch our video, which includes some outstanding drone shots recorded by Santa Barbara County Public Works.  


    Santa Barbara TDA Roadway Repair Project YouTube

    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Aug 8, 2019

  • CalRecycle Releases Draft EIR for SB 1383 Regulations

    CalRecycle has released its Draft Program Environmental Impact Report for the statewide adoption of regulations for Short-Lived Climate Pollutants: Organic Waste Methane Emission Reduction (SB 1383, Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016). Not quite sure what an EIR is? That’s OK. We’ve got you covered!

    What is an Environmental Impact Report?

    An EIR is a document that provides public agencies and the general public with detailed information about the effect a proposed project is likely to have on the environment. The document also lists the ways in which these effects might be minimized and whether there are any alternatives to such a project. (Public Resources Code §2106114 California Code of Regulations §15121)

    The SB 1383 draft Program EIR specifically addresses potential impacts to California’s scenery, light pollution, air quality emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, changes to traffic and transportation patterns, conversion of agricultural lands to other uses, and potential for land contamination by pathogens in compostable materials. The report also clarifies scope of CalRecycle’s authority to mitigate these environmental impacts.  

    The Big Picture

    California passed the California Environmental Quality Act in 1970 to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection. CEQA aims to inform decision makers and the public about the potential significant environmental impacts of new laws, identify ways that potential significant environmental impacts can be avoided or reduced, and prevent significant avoidable damage to the environment by requiring changes in the implementation of a project. The agency that will regulate the new law takes the lead and determines if an EIR is necessary.

    The public review and comment period for the SB 1383 draft EIR will be July 30, 2019, through September 13, 2019. CalRecycle will hold a public meeting on August 20 at 1 p.m. to discuss the draft EIR and receive comments.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Aug 5, 2019