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

  • Recycle Rex has taken a more serious approach to recycling!

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    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jun 11, 2018

  • California Eyes Upgrade to Aging E-Waste Program

    Expansion Could Include Nearly All Devices with Cords or Batteries

    SACRAMENTO – In an effort to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is out with a new set of recommendations to redesign California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act (SB 20, Sher, Chapter 526, Statutes of 2003).

    Right now, the state’s Covered Electronic Waste (CEW) payment program includes just a fraction of the estimated 120 million electronic devices purchased in California each year. Without a change, millions of these devices—which often contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury—could be illegally disposed or improperly managed. 

    “California’s CEW program created the infrastructure needed to safely manage the state’s e-waste while providing convenience for consumers and cost relief for local governments, but technology is changing and our program must change, too,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “As electronics get more complex, California must innovate e-waste management to maximize resource conservation and minimize public and environmental harm.”

    Following two years of workshops, surveys, and discussions with tech leaders and other stakeholders, CalRecycle developed a summary and recommendations for the Future of Electronic Waste Management in California.  Among the top recommendations are the expansion of the number and type of products covered under the CEW program. 

    Devices Currently Covered in the CEW Program

    (Screens greater than 4” diagonally) 

    • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Televisions, Monitors, Devices
    • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Televisions and Monitors
    • Laptops with LCD screens, including most tablets
    • Plasma Televisions
    • Portable DVD Players with LCD Screens 

    Proposed  Covered Electronic Devices

    • Most Devices Requiring Batteries or Power Cords

    Other CalRecycle recommendations to redesign California’s e-waste management efforts include:

    • Incentivizing greater repair and reuse of electronic devices
    • Increasing manufacturer responsibilities, including labeling and greater attention to durability/recyclability
    • Exploring a transition from the current consumer fee to a manufacturer funded program to cover the costs of proper end-of-life product management
    • Annually adjusting recycling and recovery payments to authorized CEW collectors and recyclers
    • Encouraging industry take-back programs for emerging technologies like electric car batteries and solar panels

    CalRecycle formally adopted the above policy recommendations at its May 2018 public meeting. Moving forward, the department will continue to engage stakeholders on these recommendations.

    Stay informed of new developments with CalRecycle’s Future of E-waste webpage or subscribe to our E-waste listserv.

    Fast Facts: Electronic Waste in California

    • California’s CEW program has successfully managed more than 2.2 billion pounds of e-waste since 2005
    • Electronics are considered hazardous waste and are illegal to dispose in household trash
    • 273,878 tons of (mostly non-CEW) electronics make their way to California landfills each year
    • Batteries hidden inside e-waste cause explosions and fires when shredded at recycling and recovery facilities
    • Newer electronics are smaller and more costly to dismantle, and they have less scrap material value
    • Covered Electronic Waste program payments are weight-based
    • 46 percent of household hazardous waste collected by local governments is e-waste
    • Roughly $55 billion is lost globally each year as a result of e-waste being trashed instead of recycled
    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Jun 7, 2018

  • Recycling Myths Debunked

    Plastics, metals, food, clothes—what items go in which bins? What can be recycled? Is recycling really worth the effort? There are many misconceptions about being green and reducing waste, but we’re here to clear up some of the most common myths about recycling and waste.

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    Donating Food Is Illegal
    FALSE

    One in eight Californians is food-insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s a staggering statistic when you realize 6 million tons of food—much of it edible—is thrown away in California each year. You may have heard that donating food is illegal and that there are many liabilities when it comes to giving food away, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are two laws that state as long as food is donated in good faith, you should have no legal issues. That goes for both individuals and businesses. So, if someone tells you donating food is illegal, you can point them to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act or the California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

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    Donating Really Old Stuff Is Helpful
    TRUE

    You may think no one wants your old socks or pillows—they’re very personal items. But the fact is many donation centers end up selling “unusable” textiles to places that recycle them into building insulation and shop rags. So while you think no one wants your stained T-shirt, it turns out they can be recycled, which makes sense when you consider about 95 percent of disposed textiles can be recycled or reused.

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    Originally posted by houseoftherisingbun

     

    Recycling Is Worth the Effort
    TRUE

    While National Sword (China’s current policy to limit or fully prohibit recyclable material imports) has changed the recycling scene, that does not mean it’s better to throw items in the trash. In fact, recycling challenges have provided new opportunities for success in the waste industry: Many startups have found ways to reuse and recycle common and uncommon items with a little innovation and imagination. While China’s restrictions are having a negative impact on California exports, they also highlight the importance of reducing waste and reusing what we can.  Recycling remains the critical element in keeping valued materials out of landfills and putting them to good use – or should I say reuse.

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    Originally posted by various-cartoon-awesomeness

     

    Going Zero Waste Is Expensive
    FALSE

    It might seem that way upon first glance. You’re thinking of the items you need to replace in order to create less waste in the long run. You might have to invest in some higher-quality things around your home, and that costs money. And sure, you might come across a zero-waste guru or two out there who tries to guilt you into buying $30 shampoo because it comes in a refillable metal bottle or purchasing a $200 shirt that will last until the end of time.  But when it comes to going zero waste or less-waste, you may already have items around the house that you can use. Don’t feel pressured into spending money when you don’t need to—you’ll just end up resenting your zero-waste goal. Instead, gradually switch items in your home that have reached the end of their useful life with something of higher quality that has a longer lifespan. This will help you reach your goal without emptying your wallet, and you’ll be able to sustain your lifestyle change.

    Are there any recycling myths you’d like debunked? Just let us know, and we’ll do our best to get to the truth. 

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on May 17, 2018