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

  • Workshop: Today’s Hot Gadgets, Tomorrow’s E-Waste

    Chances are, you’re reading this from a computer. Maybe a tablet? OK, a smart phone? A smart TV? Google Glass? Maybe Alexa is reading you this blog from your new Amazon Echo device.

    Either way, it’s clear that today’s technology is advancing rapidly.

    Gone are the days of families sitting around the radio or tweaking the rabbit ears for a signal on giant console televisions; you know, the cathode ray tube devices made from leaded glass (to prevent X-ray radiation) and encased in wood or plastic (to match the living room paneling). For the past dozen years, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has worked alongside the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to successfully manage the safe recovery, processing, and disposition of this legacy technology and a limited number of other electronic devices.

    The Covered Electronic Waste Program, established with the passage of the California Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, set up a state-administered funding system comprised of authorized collectors/recyclers and financed by a consumer fee. Since the program launched in 2005, participating operators have claimed approximately $886 million to offset the recycling and ultimately disposition costs for nearly 2.1 billion pounds of electronic waste.

    With an eye on the future, CalRecycle is beginning to consider how advances in technology—including lighter TVs made of more complex but less valuable and reusable material—could potentially impact California’s electronic waste management efforts in the years to come. In the summer of 2016, the Department began reaching out to more than 3,300 stakeholders to get their perspectives on the future of electronic waste management in California.

    On Wednesday, CalRecycle will hold the second in a series of workshops to discuss the future of e-waste collection and management in California.

    Future of Electronic Waste Management in California—Part 2
    10 a.m. Wednesday, March 15
    Coastal Hearing Room, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    If you can’t make it in person, join us by webcast. (The link will go live shortly before the meeting begins). The meeting agenda and related documents are located here.

    For additional information, including documents related to the initial workshop on September 14, 2016, please visit our The Future of Electronic Waste Management in California webpage.

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Mar 13, 2017

  • Lodi Students Learn About California Watersheds with Environmental Science Curriculum

    Three years ago, Kathy Grant, the City of Lodi Watershed Program Coordinator, enlisted the help of CalRecycle’s Office of Education and the Environment (OEE) to organize a free teacher professional development program to equip educators with resources to teach students about water. The event was such a success that the city has continued to offer the program to new teachers each school year.

    The foundational piece of the City of Lodi’s program is the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) curriculum, a free K-12 resource from CalRecycle that uses the environment as a context for learning science and history-social science. More than half of the EEI curriculum addresses the topic of water and complements the city’s efforts to incorporate field trips, journalism, and community art into science education.

    This year’s Free Annual EEI Workshop was held in September and drew 21 teachers from the Lodi Unified School District. Teachers trained in past years’ programs returned to share stories about their experience with the curriculum and offer advice to new teachers. This year, Grant also invited representatives from the California Water Education Foundation and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, both of which offer resources that can complement the EEI curriculum. The California Water Education Foundation provides water conservation resources such as the Project WETcurriculum, and the Department of Parks and Recreation’s PORTSprogram offers online, virtual field trip resources for teachers and students.

    If teachers choose to use the EEI curriculum, the watershed program offers a $200 stipend for their classroom. Every year, she sees five to ten teachers start using the curriculum, which represents hundreds of students throughout the city.

    “Every year there’s a new face, which is all I’m personally after,” Grant says. “The teachers who use EEI become involved in the local community. We see students and teachers participating in cleanup events near local watersheds.”

    Grant is especially excited that so many educators use the curriculum as a starting place for field trips. Many teachers have reported that using the EEI curriculum in the classroom is a great way to build their students’ knowledge on a subject before venturing out on field trips. As a result, Lodi Unified teachers are taking their students out of the classrooms and into the mountains, to the Delta, to the Pacific Ocean, to see the Sandhill Cranes, and to study water quality in different watersheds around the region.

    Watershed field trips make a big impact on Lodi students. To memorialize the experience, Grant has been instrumental in coordinating a clay art build by inviting Davis clay artist Donna Billick to help students sculpt a clay mandala depicting the wildlife they saw on a field trip. Students at Heritage Elementary built a clay mural that was ultimately installed at the Lodi Library entrance. 

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    If you would like to host a similar training in your community, please visit the California Education and the Environment website and contact your local environmental education specialist.  

    Grant is pleased that the program has been so successful. At the end of the school year, teachers return to the workshop to present their experiences to the EEI workshop. “That’s probably the best meeting,” says Grant. “Teachers get to talk to and learn from each other.” Grant also oversees a blog dedicated to Lodi teachers using the EEI curriculum to educate students about California’s watersheds. 

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    The EEI curriculum supports Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and it works well for integration with curricula for accelerated classes as well as for English language learners and students with special needs. Grant observed one class field trip during which students captured leaves, bugs, and water in a watershed. “It was rewarding to see students struggling with English get excited about looking at bugs under a microscope,” Grant says. Advanced students take field trips a step further and write newspaper articles about their favorite trip or project. Their articles are published in the Mokelumne Current, a section of the Lodi Sentinel Newspaper.  

    “Water is the most important resource we have,” Grant says. “It cuts across cultures. We shouldn’t take it for granted. The younger we can impress this upon kids, the better.”

    If you would like to learn more about the Education and the Environment Initiative curriculum, please visit our website at http://www.californiaeei.org/. The curriculum features both science and history-social science, and free face-to-face and online trainings make it easy for teachers to start utilizing the curriculum right away.  

     

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Feb 27, 2017

  • CalRecycle Funding Helps Businesses Keep Tires out of Landfills

    SACRAMENTO – Three businesses that specialize in products made from recycled tires will receive grants totaling more than $1.2 million to expand their markets and keep more of the material out of California landfills.

    The Tire Incentive Program, managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), is a competitive pilot program created to expand commercial demand for products derived from recycled tires. TIP grants are awarded to eligible manufacturers to competitively price and market their products with the goal of increasing their market share.

    “When we make products out of recycled tires rather than new material, we’re not only keeping tires out of the landfill, we’re also using less energy to create those products than we would need to use to extract virgin material,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “These innovative products are all tested for quality, and they don’t hit the market until they’re at least as high-quality as similar products made from traditional material.”

    Applicant and Award Amount

    United Sports  Surfacing of America, Inc.: $294,118

    U.S. Rubber  Recycling, Inc.: $498,116

    Van Duerr  Industries Inc., dba SafePath Products, Inc.: $450,355

    Total: $1,242,589

    Chico-based Van Duerr Industries Inc., doing business as SafePath Products, Inc., plans to use the grant to expand its own rubber molding capacity. The company uses recycled tires to make wheelchair ramps that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prior to obtaining the grant, the two molding companies that currently manufacture products for SafePath were concerned about being able to meet future demand.

    United Sports Surfacing of America, Inc., based in Orange County, makes rubberized sidewalks, running tracks, playground surfaces, and other products. The company plans to switch its material from out-of-state rubber to recycled tires from California. It is also testing new products made from recycled tires to compete in the market against the same products currently made from virgin material.

    U.S. Rubber Recycling, Inc., in San Bernardino County recycles waste tires by using them to make commercial flooring, sound-dampening underlayment for floors, and anti-skid packing material. The company now plans to add sales staff members to increase its marketing and expand its market line.

    About 44 million waste tires are generated in California each year. CalRecycle’s tire program has resulted in the diversion of about 36 million of those tires from landfills each year. The program is funded by a $1.75 tire recycling fee on each new tire sold in California. CalRecycle receives $1 of each $1.75 fee; the remainder is used for tire-related air emission programs. For more information, see CalRecycle’s Tire Recycling, Cleanup, and Enforcement Grants webpage.

    Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Nov 3, 2016