Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
CalRecycle has released its Draft Program Environmental Impact Report for the statewide adoption of regulations for Short-Lived Climate Pollutants: Organic Waste Methane Emission Reduction (SB 1383, Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016). Not quite sure what an EIR is? That’s OK. We’ve got you covered!
What is an Environmental Impact Report?
An EIR is a document that provides public agencies and the general public with detailed information about the effect a proposed project is likely to have on the environment. The document also lists the ways in which these effects might be minimized and whether there are any alternatives to such a project. (Public Resources Code §21061, 14 California Code of Regulations §15121)
The SB 1383 draft Program EIR specifically addresses potential impacts to California’s scenery, light pollution, air quality emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, changes to traffic and transportation patterns, conversion of agricultural lands to other uses, and potential for land contamination by pathogens in compostable materials. The report also clarifies scope of CalRecycle’s authority to mitigate these environmental impacts.
The Big Picture
California passed the California Environmental Quality Act in 1970 to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection. CEQA aims to inform decision makers and the public about the potential significant environmental impacts of new laws, identify ways that potential significant environmental impacts can be avoided or reduced, and prevent significant avoidable damage to the environment by requiring changes in the implementation of a project. The agency that will regulate the new law takes the lead and determines if an EIR is necessary.
The public review and comment period for the SB 1383 draft EIR will be July 30, 2019, through September 13, 2019. CalRecycle will hold a public meeting on August 20 at 1 p.m. to discuss the draft EIR and receive comments.Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Aug 5, 2019
We all know the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but we sometimes forget those three Rs are listed by priority. Used electronics are problematic and costly to manage and recycle, so it’s critical to consider more sustainable options. Here are a few.
Donate your old electronics to sources that will refurbish them or use them for parts. More and more E-waste recyclers are now taking part in the reuse movement and will accept items that can be refurbished or used for parts. ReUseIt Drop Box accepts re-useable laptops: Call (877) 738-7348, or visit www.earth911.org and search by county name to see regional choices. Also check out the CalRecycle search engine to find local e-waste recyclers.
Help minimize the environmental impact of e-waste by purchasing refurbished computers.
Refurbished products include electronics that were returned to a manufacturer or vendor for various reasons. Refurbished products are tested for functionality and defects before they are sold, and many come with warranties. Electronics in this group are often brand-new and were simply store returns that the customer decided they just didn’t want. Since the package was opened it has to be sold as “refurbished.” So in effect, you are purchasing a new product.
Other refurbished electronics may be older and rebuilt. Searching online provides valuable customer reviews of products and vendors and help determine how well the vendor stands behind their products through money-back guarantees and warranties. More electronics recyclers and some companies are expanding into the refurbished electronics market. Refurbished electronics can be purchased through any number of sources, both online and in some electronics stores, or even from the manufacturers directly.
I purchased a refurbished laptop six years ago that came with a 90-day warranty. I installed larger memory chips, also available online. It still works great, and I saved a lot of money!
Fix Them Yourself
There is a growing movement to fix electronics yourself. Many communities hold fix-it clinics. They are a lot of fun, and they provide an opportunity for tech-minded folks to volunteer time and support the community and learn along the way. A leader in the self-repair arena is IFIXIT, “the free repair guide for everything, written by everyone.” It contains instructions, tools, tips, and much more on how to fix almost any electronic device.
Any of these choices will help save valuable resources and prevent the landfilling of used electronics that can be refurbished instead. Buying refurbished also makes use of the existing products and prevents the negative environmental impacts created by the manufacture of new components and devices. Even if a device can’t be fully refurbished, some of the components could be harvested for reuse in other devices.
Remember: refurbish over recycle—it’s the higher use of the planet’s resources!Posted on In the Loop by Jim Madden, CalRecycle on May 13, 2019
CalRecycle publishes more than a dozen reports every year in its publications database to provide updates on the status of our programs and detail how much our state is recycling and landfilling. If reading an entire report seems daunting, check out the executive summary, which provides the big-picture context, key statistics, and basic conclusions. Here’s a quick list of CalRecycle’s most-read reports.
The 2017 report outlines the primary laws that govern waste management and recycling and evaluates the state’s progress in meeting statewide waste diversion goals. This report also outlines new tools and approaches to increase recycling in the state, like improving the quality and marketability of recyclable materials that continue to be generated. Fun fact from this report: In 2017, California generated 77.2 million tons of waste and recycled 42 percent of it.
California’s recycling infrastructure has heavily relied upon the export of recyclable materials from California ports, and this report outlines the materials we export and the countries that accept these materials. California recyclable materials exports have been steadily declining since 2011, dropping more than 33 percent in weight since then, which resulted in a corresponding drop in the vessel value of exports by nearly $5 billion.
This report provides a snapshot of the Beverage Container Recycling Program, including the recycling rate per material type, the total number of sales and redemptions, estimated revenues and expenditures, and the number of containers per pound by material type.
While the State of Disposal and Recycling report offers a big-picture look at how much waste is generated in California, this report reflects the results of an in-the-field study that examined the composition of our waste. With up-to-date information on the types and amounts of materials disposed in the state’s waste stream, CalRecycle can better determine where changes are needed to achieve California’s 75 percent recycling goal. CalRecycle is currently conducting another waste characterization study that will likely be published in late 2019.
Curious about the success of the statewide plastic bag ban? This report provides an update to the California Legislature about how the plastic bag ban has decreased usage of single-use plastic bags and positively affected the waste stream.
Although not technically a report, this policy recommendation paper is an interesting read. It details how California’s current program needs to be expanded to include all the new types of electronics in the marketplace.
Curious about how the new organics law will affect California? This report details impacts on residents, businesses, and local governments, including benefits (like jobs created), direct costs (like rate increases), and an analysis of alternatives considered (like eliminating enforcement mechanism).Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Apr 4, 2019