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

  • CalRecycle's Project Medley


    At CalRecycle, we’re constantly working every aspect of “reduce, reuse, recycle” to protect human health and the environment. Tomorrow’s monthly public meeting offers a glimpse at the wide variety of work we do. Here are a few items on the agenda:

    • Review and consider PaintCare’s most recent annual report. PaintCare is responsible for establishing convenient paint collection sites throughout California to increase the recycling of leftover paint.
    • Announce a Jan. 30 workshop to hear feedback on draft concepts for implementing the state’s new Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program. For more information on this topic, see our Sharps Waste Disposal webpage.
    • Present updates, including enforcement activities, on our Beverage Container Recycling Program.
    • Consider a $2 million greenhouse gas reduction loan for Peninsula Plastics Recycling, Inc. to process low-grade plastics the state previously exported to China, which is no longer accepting such material.
    • Discuss ways to help local jurisdictions implement SB 1383, which requires them to develop organics recycling programs and recover edible food for human consumption.

    Here’s the lowdown:

    CalRecycle January 2019 Public Meeting
    10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15
    Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA Building
    1001 I St., Sacramento, CA

    You can find the full agenda for CalRecycle’s January 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 Jan 14, 2019

  • Reusable Notebooks Reduce Paper Waste

    I’m guilty. Whenever I see a blank notebook with a cute cover on it—you know, like a pretty marble swirl, a sweet but overstated inspirational saying, or a sweet but overstated inspirational saying printed over a pretty marble swirl—I just have to have it! Then more often than not, it sits on my bookshelf being pretty, but not truly serving its purpose. So, now I have three problems: 1) I have a ton of half-used notebooks, journals, and diaries cluttering up my space; 2) all my notes are disorganized because they’re in order of whichever pretty notebook was closest to me when I needed to write something; and 3) I don’t know what to do with all the notebooks IF they ever get used. There’s all the paper waste of the notes I no longer need and the disorganized leftovers I might need at some point eventually. Sure, I can type everything out, but who wants to do that? Some of us still like the idea of writing things down, and in some cases it makes more sense than jotting it down on a laptop or phone.

    Enter the reusable notebook!

    I first heard about reusable notebooks from a friend. Yes, it sounds crazy. How can a notebook be reusable? What do you do with your notes if you want to keep them? Sliced bread, people landing on the moon … now, a reusable notebook? What kind of madness is this?!? Then I did some investigating. It turns out there are several different types of reusable smart notebooks that can help cut down on paper waste, reduce clutter created by an endless amount of journals, and help you organize your thoughts digitally. Some notepads are like digital tablets: They are expensive and require a special pen and a charger (e.g., the Moleskine smart writing set notebook). Some require stickers to organize notes. Some even require microwaves! Yes, microwaves. I settled on one reusable journal called Rocketbook, not because it’s necessarily the best notebook out there, but because it was on sale and it got good reviews from other buyers.

    Since, as far as I know, it is not available in stores, I ordered it online. Cringe, I know! Packaging waste is a big issue, and this one was a doozy. It came in a plastic foil-lined zipper bag within a non-recyclable, but thankfully reusable bubble wrap envelope. There was also a microfiber (also a growing waste problem) cloth inside another plastic sleeve. Hey, I tried. I bought a reusable notebook to cut down on paper waste and ended up with two plastic sleeves, a bubble wrap envelope, and carbon emissions for the travel from across the country. *Facepalm*

    Here’s the good news. So far, this notebook is awesome! The paper doesn’t feel exactly like paper because it isn’t paper, but it does feel like writing on paper for the most part. While it works similar to a dry erase board in that it can easily be erased by wiping it with water and the included cloth, it will not wipe or smudge off if you touch it (after the recommended 15-second drying period). The ink can also be removed with the pen’s eraser—that part really took me back to 1996 erasable pen nostalgia. Each page is numbered and contains a QR code, a grid, and cute little symbols on the bottom reminiscent of Lucky Charms —all are supposed to help keep you organized with assistance from the downloadable app.

    Each symbol on the bottom can be assigned to an electronic account. For example, the diamond might be team meeting notes that you would like to email or drop into a special folder for your co-workers when scanned by your phone. If there are multiple pages, the QR code will put the pages in order for you. Once you are done scanning the pages, you can count on your notes being organized in folders you designate for easy access. Then you can erase the pages so you can reuse them for years to come. The journal is compatible with certain pens and highlighters which can be found in stores and can also be used on similar notebooks like the Elfin notebook, the Zohulu notebook, and the RUBook—all comparable products to the Rocketbook.

    Overall, I’m pretty happy with my purchase and excited to see how functional it will be in my work and personal life in the long run. Time will tell!

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jan 10, 2019

  • 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