Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
A Brief Overview of Waste Collection and Recycling in California
When it comes to waste and recycling, California has a jurisdiction/state system similar to our nation’s state/federal system. This system allows local communities to customize their waste management programs while complying with state laws. CalRecycle does not own or operate any waste management or recycling facilities or hauler services in the state. As a result, there is no standardized universal waste management system throughout the state. Instead, the department provides oversight to local governments and businesses to ensure they comply with state laws and work to meet statewide recycling goals and mandates.
Most jurisdictions contract with private waste hauler businesses to collect waste from residents and businesses. A hauler provides residents and businesses with collection containers (often called bins or dumpsters) and collection service. These contract agreements are strictly between the jurisdiction and the hauler, and are not subject to CalRecycle oversight.
CalRecycle, in partnership with local enforcement agencies (LEA), regulates the operation of solid waste handling, processing, and disposal activities to protect the public health and safety and the environment as well as ensure a level playing field for solid waste businesses. CalRecycle certifies LEAs to ensure the facilities/operations within their jurisdiction operate according to state minimum standards and permit conditions. Although each LEA is responsible for its jurisdiction, CalRecycle provides training, guidance and oversight to ensure LEAs consistently and equitably enforce state laws to ensure facilities are operating effectively.
CalRecycle activities include certifying and evaluating local enforcement agency programs; reviewing/concurring on permit and closure/post closure documents; inspecting all facilities before permits are issued; and inspecting active and closed landfills and other facilities in coordination with the LEA.
Although California does not own any haulers, waste facilities, or recycling centers, CalRecycle does manage and mitigate the impacts of solid waste by ensuring local compliance with regulations and state minimum standards through integrated and consistent permitting, inspection, and enforcement efforts.
To learn more about local opportunities to recycle, check out our Recycle webpage.Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Apr 11, 2019
Corsages and cummerbunds mark prom season just before the end of the school year. Soon students will be shopping for dresses, tuxes, and limos, but at what cost to the environment? If you’re a freshman to the world of sustainability, take note of these tips for a planet-protecting prom.
Give Fast Fashion the Slip
It can be difficult to avoid those inexpensive clothing items when you or your teenager are fashion-forward on a budget. But, armed with the knowledge that the fashion industry (especially fast fashion) is one of the main contributors to landfill waste, pollution, and unfair labor practices, it might be a little easier to give up those bargain garments. Instead, try purchasing something secondhand. Just because it was previously owned, that does not mean it is cheap, tacky, or unsophisticated. In fact, most prom dresses are only worn once, so it’s likely any “used” dress will be in excellent condition—not to mention less expensive. You can also get creative and refashion a secondhand item that has potential. Don’t have enough room in your closet or not as creative as you’d like to be? Find a dress rental company in your area—tuxes are rented, so why can’t a dress be? Another option can be a formal clothing exchange between friends, an exchange program, or even your library—yes, your library! There are also plenty of places to donate your dress when you’re done with it.
Makeover Your Cosmetic Bag
Looking your best doesn’t stop at your outfit, and it shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet. Whether you or your teen wears makeup or simple moisturizer, applies lots of hair product or just needs a razor to get rid of unwanted stubble, there is an earth-friendly option for everyone. Start by asking what cosmetics and beauty accessories are made of—plastic or natural ingredients? Biodegradable or single-use? What about excess packaging? Look for zero-waste companies, or DIY your cosmetics.
If you or your teen can afford to rent a limo, make sure to get as many passengers as possible. This will help offset the carbon emissions created by driving multiple cars, and it can also help bring down the cost of the rental. If a limo isn’t in the cards, try regular carpooling or even a pedicab if the venue is nearby. No one expects anyone to ride their bike in their formals, but a pedicab or even a horse-drawn carriage can be a fun and eco-friendly option if the dance is nearby.
After the night is over, the formal footwear is kicked off and it’s time to hit the hay, don’t toss your boutoniere or corsage in the trash. If you don’t plan on hanging on to your flowers as a keepsake, compost it or throw it in your yard waste bin minus the ribbons, pins, and other decorations—you can always reuse those, but they don’t belong in the pile with other organic waste.
Now get out there and promenade that planet-protecting way, knowing you did the right thing for future prom-goers!Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Apr 8, 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