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

  • CalRecycle Awards $71,000 to Clear Illegal Dumpsites

    Local Boy Scout Troop to Help Restore Farm and Ranch Land

    Media Contact: Lance Klug
    (916) 341-6293 Lance.Klug@CalRecycle.ca.gov

    SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is awarding $71,132 in cleanup grants to restore public nature areas and animal grazing land in Lassen and Madera counties. The local sites are overrun with illegally dumped appliances, tires, household hazardous waste, electronic waste, construction scraps, and other debris, posing a threat to public health and the environment.

    “California must protect the farm, ranch and agricultural lands that help feed people and contribute to our economy.” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “CalRecycle is committed to keeping these open, rural spaces clean and productive for generations to come.”

    CalRecycle’s Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program provides up to $1 million annually for the cleanup of illegal solid waste on farm or ranch property where the owner is not responsible for the illegally dumped debris.

    Madera County

    CalRecycle is awarding the Coarsegold Resource Conservation District a $21,132 grant to help clear a stretch of the Willow Creek Trail loop, the Cheapo Saddle Shooting Range, and the Central Camp Road grotto in the county and Sierra National Forest. The sites are on dirt roads with hiking trails and are prone to illegal dumping. A local Boy Scout troop will help support the project by removing recyclables and trash following the cleanup. New garbage and recycling bins, signage and increased monitoring will be put in place to help prevent future dumping.

    Central Camp Road Grotto cleanup site

    The Central Camp Road grotto site will be cleaned up with funding from CalRecycle. 

    Lassen County

    CalRecycle is awarding the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation a $50,000 grant to help clear a 45-acre debris field within the 360-acre Bertotti Ranch. The land is used as a cattle, sheep and pig pasture and serves as graze land for these and other livestock throughout the year. The ungated property was unoccupied for decades. Its proximity to a nearby community and public road made it a frequent illegal dumping ground. New fencing and increased monitoring are expected to help prevent future dumping.

    Bertotti Ranch site

    This Bertotti Ranch site will also be cleaned up.

    Under the farm and ranch grant program, cities, counties, federally recognized Native American tribes, and resource conservation districts may apply for up to $200,000 per fiscal year, but no more than $50,000 per site. Grants are funded through the state’s Integrated Waste Management Account, Tire Recycling Management Fund, and Used Oil Recycling Fund. Get automatic updates on new grant cycles, awards, and funding availability by subscribing to CalRecycle’s Farm and Ranch Cleanup Grant listserv.

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Feb 28, 2019

  • My Time as a CalRecycle Student Assistant

    It's safe to say that a year ago, I knew very little about the recycling industry in California. But since I joined CalRecycle’s Knowledge Integration Section as a Student Assistant in April of last year, I have become somewhat of an expert.

    Studying environmental policy at UC Davis, I was excited to join CalRecycle and gain as much knowledge as I could on what goes into the regulatory process. In my time here, I’ve done countless eye-opening activities such as sitting in on meetings with my supervisors, assisting with rulemaking packages, and attending site visits of Northern California material recovery facilities.

    Site visits are easily my favorite part of working with CalRecycle. After attending the safety training, I was able to visit four facilities in the area (Sacramento, Galt, etc.) that collect and sort waste, retrieving the recyclable material for resale. Donning highlighter yellow vests and rubber boots, my colleagues and I were led on tours of these facilities, learning more about their operations and how the recent China bans have affected their business. Most places detailed the difficulty of selling their recyclables with new contamination standards in affect overseas.

    Juliet Vaughn


    Juliet Vaughn models a safety vestand hard hat on a site tour.

    Seeing trash being moved and sorted on a conveyor right in front of me was an eye-opening experience. Giant tractors push waste into a pile that makes its way onto a conveyor belt. Coffee cups, to-go boxes, and laundry detergent containers rush past you as a worker picks off certain types of plastic from the line. It goes to show how there really is no “away” and just how important laws like banning plastic straws really are. One of our site visits was to observe a sort crew for the Waste Characterization Study our office conducts. Workers take a large sample of waste and hand sort it by material type (see a previous In The Loop blog post for a video). The goal of the study is to better understand the makeup of California’s waste, with special attention to organics.

    Another part of my work I enjoy is being able to put the knowledge I gain in school to good use. There have been plenty of times when I learned about something at my university one day, only to encounter the exact concept at work soon after. When a colleague was trying to remember what “SEP” stood for, I said, “Supplemental Environmental Project!” with confidence, having learned the acronym in an environmental law class. Putting together rulemaking packages for AB 901, I’ve encountered plenty of documents I learned about in class, including CEQA notices and economic impact statements.

    What they didn’t teach me in school, however, was the tremendous amount of work that goes into crafting a regulation and finalizing it. The packages I put together were upwards of a thousand pages, the product of the hard work put in by people in my office. I took a special interest in all of the thought that goes into the wording of a regulation and how it is interpreted by stakeholders. Replacing just one word in a regulatory text could mean changing everything.

    As I prepare to graduate in June and attend law school in the fall, I won’t forget my time here at CalRecycle. Working with the Knowledge Integration Section has given me insight into all the work that goes into making regulations and the importance of fighting for environmental protection in California. This office has become my community, and I hope to continue working with CalEPA in some capacity one day.

    --Juliet Vaughn

    Juliet Vaughn is a student assistant at CalRecycle.

    Posted on In the Loop by Juliet Vaughn on Feb 4, 2019

  • Local Economies Get Green Boost: $5.3 Million

    Infrastructure Investments Add Jobs, Reduce Waste and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

     

    small CR logo

    SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery approved $5.3 million in loans to two California companies to create new jobs, increase recycling infrastructure, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California. The financing will help Peninsula Plastics Recycling, Inc. of Turlock (Stanislaus County) and U.S. Rubber Recycling, Inc. of Grand Terrace (San Bernardino County) expand their workforce while making use of an additional 17,300 tons of California-generated waste tires and plastic each year.

    “These local investments benefit all Californians by transforming a potential waste stream into a supply stream for our businesses, creating jobs, protecting our planet, and reducing our dependence on unstable foreign markets,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. In addition to conserving oil and other natural resources, manufacturing products from recycled materials requires less energy and results in fewer GHG emissions than making products from virgin materials.”

    CalRecycle Support Available for California Recycling Businesses

    CalRecycle provides financial and technical assistance to help reuse- and recycling-based businesses develop and prosper in California.

    • CalRecycle’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Loan Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Through direct low-interest loans, CalRecycle financing helps California businesses expand capacity or establish new facilities that manufacture organics, fiber, plastic, or glass waste materials into new products.
    • CalRecycle’s Recycling Market Development Zone Loan Program combines recycling with state and local economic development incentives to fuel new businesses, expand existing ones, and create additional markets for recycled-content products. The RMDZ program provides loans, technical assistance, and product marketing to recycling businesses located within one of the state’s 40 designated recycling market development zones.

    Peninsula Plastics and U.S. Rubber Recycling -- $5.3 million

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Jan 28, 2019