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

  • Maya Angelou: Inspiring Us to Fight for a Better World

    Today is Black Poetry Day, and arguably one of the best American poets of all time was Maya Angelou. She inspired many through her poems, her spoken words, and her endless fight for civil rights.  

    Even though Angelou passed away five years ago, her quotes are still used on social media to encourage and inspire others.  I wanted to share this quote that was posted recently:

    Nothing will work unless you do.

    Maya Angelou: Nothing will work unless you do.

    I thought this quote is relevant for those who care about creating a greener and more sustainable environment. We all need to be willing to do our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to make things better for future generations. Our ecosystem will not function properly if we don't do anything to clean it up.  

    So, go ahead and do something to help the environment, and then maybe you can inspire others, much like Maya Angelou continues to do.  


    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Nov 1, 2019

  • Don't Scare the Planet with Your Halloween Costume

    Pumpkins with plastic ghosts. Don't scare the planet with your halloween costume

    Many costumes are made with the intention to scare folks during Halloween. But one of the scariest statistics about this spooky day is that people spend about $8.8 billion, or $75 per person, on Halloween-related items, including costumes that get thrown away.

    According to a CalRecycle waste characterization report, more than 1.24 million tons of textiles were disposed in California landfills in 2014. Every year, Californians spend more than $70 million to dispose of used textiles in landfills, and 95 percent of this material is actually reusable or recyclable

    So, why not save money and the environment by being a little creative when deciding what to wear for Halloween? Here are some simple tips to consider:

    • Check out Pinterest for DIY costume ideas, and then peruse your own closet or local thrift store to create your next costume.
    • Instead of purchasing a plastic or rubber Halloween mask, use makeup or non-toxic face paint that you already have to create your look. 
    • Look in your recycling bin for anything that can be used for Halloween costumes and decorations. How about using a cardboard box to create a robot costume?
    • Save your kiddo’s costumes and host a Halloween costume swap party before next Halloween.
    • If you can’t hang on to the costumes for that long, consider donating them to organizations like a local theater company, day care provider, or thrift store.

    Along with alternative plans for Halloween costumes, maybe consider a different way for kids to carry their trick-or-treat candies. Instead of using those plastic pumpkins, consider creating your own reusable bag. In this video, our CalRecycle team shows how easy it is to make one with an old shirt.

    Posted on In the Loop by Tracey Harper and Syd Fong on Oct 31, 2019

  • CalRecycle Cleans Up Paradise, Recycles Metal Debris

    CalRecycle’s contractors in Butte County have just recovered their 100 millionth pound of scrap metal from the Camp Fire debris in Paradise. For perspective, the Statue of Liberty weighs 450,000 pounds. The wildfire debris cleanup contractors averaged recovering the equivalent of one and a half Lady Liberties per day in metal since the cleanup started in February. 

    Nevertheless, metal is the smallest classification of debris being removed from the fire area and redirected to disposal sites and collection centers. Ash and burnt debris, concrete, and contaminated soil take up most of the truckloads; metal is a relatively scant 1.4 percent of the 3.6 million tons of debris collected. Despite being the smallest category, it’s important, because unlike ash, metal is recyclable.

    CalRecycle, under its mission to protect public health and the environment, ensures that these millions of tons of debris are safely disposed while maximizing the amount of recyclable materials recovered, especially metals. Cleanup crews gather and separate metal material to reduce the amount that will end up in landfills. The crew then washes it to clean off as much debris as possible before it is loaded into a dump truck and taken to a collection facility. 

    Burned vehicles by the way, were counted separately from scrap metal. More than 23,000 burned vehicles of all types have been recovered and delivered to the same collection facility in Oroville as the scrap metal. 

    How many truck loads has it taken to move 100 million pounds of recovered metal? More than 35,000! The dump trucks have a weight capacity of 10 tons, but they can only get about a ton and a half in each truck. Metal debris doesn’t lie flat and compact like soil or ash, so there is a lot of empty space in each load. To quote a veteran of many debris clean up projects, “Scrap metal is fluffy.” 

    Check out this video to learn more. 

    Camp Fire Metal Recovery YouTube video

    Posted on In the Loop by Chris McSwain on Oct 25, 2019