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

  • Tools for the Home Composter

    food scraps

    Did you know composting your food waste helps the environment? When landfilled, organic material emits methane gas, which directly contributes to climate change. If you have outdoor space, consider composting to prevent methane emissions and to create a rich soil amendment for your own use. Find basic directions on our compost webpage, and check out these tools that can make it easier to compost at home.

    Kitchen Pails & Crocks

    Using a pail or crock to collect coffee grounds, onion peels, potato peels, and table scraps in your kitchen will reduce the number of trips you make to the green bin or your own compost bin.

    Kitchen pails and crocks are available in a variety of materials like stainless steel, ceramic, bamboo, and plastic. Look for a container with a lid, which prevents odors from permeating your kitchen. Or consider lining your pail with a compostable bag, which cuts down on odors and makes it easier to transport green waste to your curbside bin. (Note: Check with your local hauler to see if they accept compostable bags. Some haulers consider compostable bags to be contaminants.) Some pails and crocks work with charcoal filters, which also reduce odors.

    Composting Bins and Tumblers

    bins and tumblers

    Some Californians have a large backyard and can manage a compost pile on the ground, while others may have limited space or have concerns about attracting rodents with food scraps. If you want to contain your compost, you have several options. Wire cages, plastic bins, and wooden crates expose the outer edges of your compost pile to the air, but they require a manual turn with a pitchfork to aerate the center of the pile.

    Want to speed up the process? Consider composting with worms. Vermicomposting is an efficient way to compost in a small space, and worm compost is considered by many in horticulture to be the very best soil amendment available.

    Another option is a composting tumbler, which does not require heavy lifting to aerate the pile. Spin or turn your tumbler to aerate your compost more efficiently, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to convert organic waste into compost. Tumblers range in size from 25 gallons to 170 gallons, which makes them versatile options for every household.

    compost tools

    If you use a traditional compost pile or bin, a manual aerator tool can help you mix your compost pile without heavy lifting. If your pile isn’t transforming organic material into compost efficiently, consider troubleshooting with a compost thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

    Home composting creates a valuable soil amendment that contributes to healthier and more abundant produce in your backyard garden. We can each do our part to protect the environment and human health by reducing food waste and composting our kitchen scraps. 

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 20, 2018

  • SB 1383 Rulemaking Launch Party

    In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new law requires that CalRecycle implement regulations to reduce organic waste disposal by 50 percent by 2020, and 75 percent by 2025. It also requires that not less than 20 percent of edible food that is currently disposed of is recovered for human consumption by 2025.

    At CalRecycle’s monthly public meeting on Tuesday, staff will recommend approval to complete and file the draft regulations with the Office of Administrative Law and begin the formal rulemaking process. This step has been preceded by almost two years of informal stakeholder workshops and statewide cost-benefit analyses.

    In non-government-ese: We’ve been working hard to figure out the best way to implement this new law, and we’ve gotten a lot of input from local communities and businesses, and we’ve constructed a detailed plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed hungry Californians. This is a big deal!

    Also at the public meeting, CalRecycle staff will seek approval to conclude the formal rulemaking process for AB 901(Gordon, Chapter 746, Statutes of 2015). This law changes how organics, recyclable material, and solid waste are reported to CalRecycle and will help the department focus its efforts to increase recycling in the state.

    In non-government-ese: Draft regulations, which detail the AB 901 reporting requirements and how CalRecycle will enforce them, have already been reviewed by OAL, and this action will finalize them. This is also a big deal.

    We’ll also announce grant recipients for our Tire Incentive Program and for projects using rubberized pavement and tire-derived aggregate. All three of these grant programs help California make good use of some of the 48 million waste tires managed in the state each year, rather than have them end up in landfills.

    CalRecycle December 2018 Public Meeting
    10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18
    Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    You can find the full agenda (and a lot of SB 1383 documents, including a few explanatory infographics) for CalRecycle’s December 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 by Heather Jones on Dec 17, 2018

  • Tips from the U.S. EPA to Cut Holiday Food Waste

    Get Smart: Take the Food Waste Challenge

    See how much food (and money) you are really throwing away every week by measuring (by volume or weight) your edible and preventable food waste for six weeks. That may seem like a pain, but the U.S. EPA found that it’s hard to achieve food waste reduction if you don’t actually measure how much you are throwing away and identify why you couldn’t eat what you bought. Those who participated in this challenge noted it had a big impact on their shopping and cooking plans and helped them reduce wasted food.

    Smart Shopping: Shop with Meals in Mind and Your Calendar in Hand

    We all do it—shop for home-cooked meals and then opt to dine out or do take-out instead. To reduce food waste, be realistic about how many meals you will actually cook at home.

    Smart Storage: Store Food for Maximum Freshness

    Food waste often occurs because we are improperly storing our fruits and vegetables. Many fruits give off natural gases that hasten the spoilage of other nearby produce, and it’s helpful to know which items should be stored inside and outside the fridge to maximize shelf life.

    Smart Prep: Prep Now, Eat Later

    One of the biggest reasons people don’t eat what they buy is that their cooking time is limited on weeknights. Taking a few moments to prepare your food after purchasing it will make it easier to whip up meals later.

    Smart Saving: Eat First!

    Sometimes our own refrigerators are so full that it’s difficult to clearly identify foods that should be eaten first. Counteract this by managing your fridge more efficiently and designating a space for foods that should be eaten relatively soon.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 13, 2018