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

  • Managing Food Waste with Bugs

    Black soldier fly larvae


    On the UC Davis campus, a group of researchers is breeding lots of bugs. I mean, a lot. 

    “At any given time, we could have a million flies,” said Trevor Fowles, a graduate student in the Department of Entomology and Nematology.

    The university researchers are exploring how to use black soldier fly larvae to break down organic waste—like almonds, wine waste, and tomatoes—and convert it into useful products.

    “Fats from the soldier fly can be converted into machine lubricant and oils that you can put into animal feeds,” Fowles said. “Their frass (powdery white refuse) is rich in nutrients and can be added to composting operations.”  

    With SB 1383 requiring 50 percent reduction in the level of organice waste by next year and a 75 percent reduction by 2025, these little flies might end up playing a key role in greenhouse gas reduction.   

    “We need to keep these foods out of the landfills and reduce our carbon footprint,” Fowles said. “The black soldier flies are just one way we can eliminate this type of waste.”

    In July, Fowles and a group of partners started their own business called Biomilitus, hoping to take the black soldier fly concept to businesses throughout the state. 

    “It (fly larvae) would be interesting to commodities groups who are trying to deal with their waste and trying to make an eco-friendly product,” Fowles said. “So, the almond board and tomato growers, they would be more interested if we had an insect that’s specifically bred to handle their waste products.”

    See the video below for a closer look at these bugs doing what they do.


    CalRecycle video: Black soldier fly larvae eating organic waste
    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Sep 30, 2019

  • Reusables--It's Our Bag, Baby!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: At CalRecycle, we really do practice what we preach. From food waste bins in our break rooms to zero-waste social events and produce crop swaps, we’re no strangers to living sustainably at work and at home! So it should come as no surprise that our social committee, with the help of our zero waste team, recently hosted a reusable bag DIY during the lunch hour for everyone in our headquarters building, not just CalRecyclers. (Inclusivity is super-important, especially when it comes to saving the planet!)

    Participants were encouraged to bring an old T-shirt, scrap fabric, or a pillowcase to redesign into a reusable bag that can be taken to the weekly farmers market across the street from our headquarters building, or anywhere else. Those who weren’t able to bring their own supplies were able to choose from a selection of fabric scraps and extra T-shirts provided at the workshop. That’s a good thing, because about 95 percent of textiles like fabric and clothing that are landfilled could have easily been recycled or repurposed.

    This project is perfect for those who consider themselves “challenged” in the crafts department because it doesn’t require any sewing (unless you want to). In fact, it’s so simple we recommend trying it with the kiddos this summer—it’s a great way to get them involved in reducing, reusing, and recycling. 

    For no-sew DIY T-shirt bag instructions, check out this tutorial on our Pinterest page. And to see the workshop in action, check out this quick video

    Reusable Creations video
    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark and Syd Fong on Jul 29, 2019

  • CalRecycle Grant Recipient Preventing Food Waste

    CalRecycle has grants to help clean up illegal dumping sites, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide assistance for beverage container recycling. Check out this video to see how this grant recipient is using its award to prevent food waste.

    CalRecycle Awarded an Organic Waste Grant to Napa Recycling and Waste Services
    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jul 15, 2019