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

  • Smashing Pumpkins

    How to recycle Jack-o-Lanterns

    Now that Halloween is over and the trick-or-treating is all done, you probably have a jack-o’-lantern still sitting on your front porch. Seriously, what are you going to do with that pumpkin?

    Well, a lot of people simply put it in the trash can, and that’s not the best place to put it.

    If tossed into the trash, a rotting pumpkin will decompose like any other food waste and emit methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

    American’s likely spent $377.23 million on pumpkins for carving into jack-o-lanterns in 2019. Across the nation, more than 650,000 tons (1.3 billion pounds) of pumpkin flesh could be headed to landfills because many consumers will carve the pumpkin but not consume it.

    So, what’s a possible solution? Well, how about composting old pumpkins?

    If you have a green waste curbside collection bin, chances are you can put your pumpkin in there where it will be taken to a compost or anaerobic digestion facility and turned into biofuel. If you would like to compost the pumpkin in your own compost pile, you can find a compost recipe and tips on our website. But here’s the basic gist of how to get it done.

    • Remove candles, artificial lighting, or any other decorations that are in or attached to the pumpkin. Pumpkins that have been decorated with paint or glitter should not be composted.
      • Remove the seeds so you don’t risk starting a pumpkin patch in your compost pile. (It’s OK if you do—just turn those pumpkins back into more compost.)
      • A clean pumpkin can be added to an existing compost pile and mixed in with other ingredients.
      • Another bonus to composting pumpkins—you can smash the orange head into smithereens and compost all of the tiny pieces. (Such a good way to let out your aggression after someone egged your house. Darn kids!)

      Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Nov 4, 2019

    • CalRecycle Launches New Recycling and Disposal Reporting System

      CalRecycle Launches New Recycling and Disposal Reporting System


      As a state with more than 40 million residents, California generates a lot of waste—to the tune of 77.2 million tons in 2017 alone. In 2019, CalRecycle launched a new Recycling and Disposal Reporting System to track how organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are managed throughout the state. Regulated businesses have registered and, in some cases, have already started reporting data to CalRecycle. The department expects to release the first quarterly report in January 2020.

      Under the previous reporting system, information was reported to counties and regional agencies that aggregated the data before sending it to CalRecycle. To better understand the composition of our waste streams, CalRecycle supplemented that data with detailed waste characterization studies.

      The new system builds on these efforts by requiring recycling and composting businesses, facilities, and operations to report directly to CalRecycle, thereby streamlining the submittal process and helping CalRecycle not only understand what is being recycled, but also where in the state materials are managed. With better data, CalRecycle can more accurately assess the waste and recycling industry landscape in order to identify specific challenges and promulgate potential solutions.  

      Regulated businesses are starting to report their data in incremental steps as materials flow through collection centers and transfer stations to recyclers, composters, and landfills. Quarter Three (July-September) 2019 data will be fully reported by the end of December 2019, and CalRecycle will analyze and report the results in January 2020.

      Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 24, 2019

    • Fall Into Composting

      Dry leaves, twigs, paper, and branches are powerful sources of carbon for compost piles.

       

      Autumn is finally here, and the leaves are beginning to change colors. Pretty soon, people will be raking bright orange and yellow leaves from their lawns. It’s the perfect time of year to start composting – if you start now, you’ll have finished compost in time for your spring garden and flower beds.

      Compost is an organic material made from recycled green and brown materials (like landscape trimmings and branches). Pile these up in a mound or toss them into a compost drum barrel, and pretty soon you will have a robust soil amendment for your garden. You can find more information on our website about home composting.

      Compost has many benefits for homeowners. It retains soil moisture, which is especially helpful during the summer. It keeps weed growth down, which makes gardening much easier. Compost also provides nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers. It even adds carbon to the soil, which directly combats climate change.

      Check out our Compost: Getting Started video for more information.

      YouTube video. Compost: Getting Started
      Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 17, 2019