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

  • Wildfires Create New Danger: Hazardous Debris

    The latest wildfires in California have left more than 80 people dead, 161,000 acres burned, and more than 10,000 homes and structures destroyed. But as changing weather patterns and the tireless work of firefighters help boost containment lines, communities devastated by the fires now face potential health risks associated with the improper handling of fire debris. 

    Returning residents should avoid extensive sweeping or sifting through ash or debris before cleanup by designated agencies begins. Exposure to ash, soot, and other hazardous material left in the wake of wildfires can cause serious and potentially deadly health problems.

    Camp Fire aftermath

    Fire ash contains tiny particles of dust, dirt, and soot that can be inhaled if the ash becomes airborne. These particles could contain trace amounts of metals like lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic; asbestos from older homes or other buildings; perfluorochemicals (from degradation of non-stick cookware, for example); flame retardants; and caustic materials. In addition to irritating your skin, nose, and throat, substances like asbestos, nickel, arsenic, and cadmium have been known to cause cancer. 

    • Experts say it’s best to avoid any activity that disturbs the debris or kicks ash and associated chemicals into the air.
    • Those working directly with wildfire debris are advised to wear gloves, long shirts and pants, and other clothing to help prevent skin contact.
    • It’s best to change shoes and clothing once off-site to avoid contaminating other areas.
    • Masks certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are also recommended when exposure to wildfire dust or ash can’t be avoided.

    CalEPA recommends NIOSH-certified air-purifying respirator masks, which can be found at most hardware stores. A mask rated N-95 is much more effective than simpler dust or surgical masks in blocking particles from ash. Although smaller sized masks may appear to fit a child’s face, none of the manufacturers recommend their use for children. If children are in an area that warrants wearing a mask, they should be moved to an environment with cleaner air.

    Safe sifting through your property will NOT jeopardize your claims for disaster assistance. However, property owners are advised against initiating actual cleanup activities or significantly disturbing the debris by moving it to other areas. Expanding the ash footprint on the property creates additional safety hazards and expenses during the cleanup process. Contact your local officials for further guidance on these activities.

    Learn more about CalRecycle's role in wildfire recovery efforts.

     

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Nov 28, 2018

  • CalRecycle Cleanup Grants Announced

    Resighini Rancheria to Receive Nearly $50,000 for Floodplain Cleanup

    The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has awarded the Resighini Rancheria a $49,237 Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement grant to clear an illegal dumpsite in the Klamath River estuary. The remote property on a Klamath River floodplain is currently home to illegally dumped vehicles, trailers, boats, appliances, propane tanks, tires, and other debris. In addition to the effects on wildlife, the stripped vehicles and appliances have increased contamination concerns on the property, which is zoned for agricultural use.

    The Resighini Rancheria will use grant funds to remediate the property and take steps to prevent illegal dumping in the future.

    These items were part of the clutter at an illegal dumpsite on the Klamath River estuary within the Resighini Rancheria.

    CalRecycle also awarded the Mariposa County Resource Conservation District a $5,630 Farm and Ranch Cleanup grant to clear tires, wire, metal, wood waste, furniture, and other household trash illegally dumped near the Mariposa County community of Jerseydale. U.S. Forest Service workers came across the half-acre site within the Sierra National Forest and requested cleanup assistance from the district. The land is typically used for a variety of recreational and agriculture uses including seasonal cattle grazing, hunting, and hiking.

    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 sites on farm or ranch property where the owner is not responsible for the illegal disposal. Under the 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 Nov 21, 2018

  • CalRecycle Monthly Public Meeting


    CalRecycle staff will provide a detailed update of the Beverage Container Recycling Fund at the department’s monthly public meeting on Tuesday.

    The most recent BCRF quarterly report projects a $36.8 million structural surplus for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, mostly attributable to fewer CRV redemptions. The surplus is expected to increase to $91.5 million for FY 2019-20.

    CalRecycle  will also consider awards for its Farm and Ranch cleanup program. Two jurisdictions are being considered for awards: Mariposa County Resource Conservation District, and the Resighini Rancheria. Eligible properties for these grants include those involving agricultural activities such as farms and ranches where the owner is not responsible for the illegal disposal. For more information see CalRecycle’s Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program webpage

    CalRecycle November 2018 Public Meeting
    10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19
    Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    You can find the full agenda for CalRecycle’s November public meeting here. If you can’t make it in person, join us by webcast (the link will go live shortly before the meeting begins).

    Posted on In the Loop on Nov 15, 2018