Program News...
  • Read about CalRecycle's greenhouse gas reduction grant and loan programs.

Caring for the environment, including addressing climate change, is an integral part of the mission of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The waste management hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle, and environmentally sound disposal originally established by the Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, (AB 939, Sher, Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989), can significantly reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

CalRecycle plays a central role in assisting the state’s local jurisdictions meet the AB 939 mandates and fosters markets for recovered recyclables. Since 1998, local governments have quantified and characterized their waste and identified, selected, and implemented programs designed to achieve the diversion mandates. Today, California has a broad-based and expanding infrastructure that diverts more than half of the state’s entire waste stream.

Assembly Bill (AB) 32 Scoping Plan

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32, Núñez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006) established the world's first comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases (GHG). In response to Assembly Bill 32, the California Air Resources Board developed the Scoping Plan which contains the main strategies California will use to reduce the GHGs that cause climate change. The proposed Scoping Plan was released on Oct. 15, 2008 and approved at a board hearing on Dec. 12, 2008.

CalRecycle's AB 32 Scoping Plan Responsibilities

The Scoping Plan identifies CalRecycle as lead in developing recycling-based solutions aimed at reducing GHGs. These measures include:

AB 32 Scoping Plan Update, 2013

AB 32 requires ARB to update the Scoping Plan every five years. The 2013 AB 32 Scoping Plan update will define ARB's climate change priorities for the next five years and lay the groundwork to reach post-2020 goals. The update will also highlight California's progress toward meeting the near-term 2020 GHG emission reduction goals defined in the original Scoping Plan (2008).

The Scoping Plan update includes a focus on six major sectors where the challenges and rewards of successful future climate action are most compelling:

  1. Transportation and fuels (including infrastructure and land use);
  2. Energy generation (including transmission infrastructure and efficiency);
  3. Waste;
  4. Water;
  5. Natural lands; and
  6. Agriculture.

Waste Management Sector Plan

CalRecycle and ARB staff have been working together to develop a Waste Management Sector Plan addressing greenhouse gas emissions from waste management activities to achieve the 75 percent recycling goal of AB 341 and inform the development of the AB 32 2013 Scoping Plan Update.

The draft framework consists of a Waste Management Sector Overview paper, accompanying technical papers covering the various waste management options and Implementation Plan (below).

ARB posted Appendix C, Waste Sector Working Paper, March 14, 2014


  • September 17 public workshop co-hosted by CalRecycle and Air Resources Board (ARB) staff was held Sept. 17, 2013. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss revised Technical Papers for the draft Waste Management Sector Plan.
  • June 18 public workshop, co-hosted by CalRecycle and Air Resources Board (ARB) staff, sought public input on the draft Waste Management Sector Plan released June 14, 2013 that discusses activities to achieve the 75 percent recycling goal of AB 341 and informs the AB 32 Scoping Plan update.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant and Loan Programs

In fiscal year 2014-15, CalRecycle established the GHG Reduction Fund (GGRF) Grant and Loan Program to provide financial incentives for capital investments in composting/digestion infrastructure and recycling manufacturing facilities that will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant and Loan Programs page.

This 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. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.

For More Information

  • Overview. More background information on the challenge of global climate change.
  • Contacts. Contact information for CalRecycle and other agency staff working on climate change activities.
  • Listserv. Enroll in the Climate Change listserv and keep informed of all the latest information on CalRecycle's activities in combating global climate change.
  • Events. Plan to attend upcoming events.
  • California Climate Change Portal. This site contains information on the impacts of climate change on California and the state's policies relating to global warming. It is also the home for the California Climate Change Center, a "virtual " research and information website operated by the California Energy Commission through its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program.
  • California Air Resources Board climate change website.
  • U.S. EPA climate change website.
  • Western Climate Initiative. A collaboration launched in February 2007 by the Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington to develop regional strategies to address climate change.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change.
  • California Climate Adaptation Strategy. The 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy, updated in 2018, is the State’s roadmap for everything state agencies are doing and will do to protect communities, infrastructure, services, and the natural environment from climate change impacts. This holistic strategy primarily covers state agencies’ programmatic and policy responses across different policy areas, but it also discusses the ongoing related work to with coordinated local and regional adaptation action and developments in climate impact science.
  • Cal-Adapt Climate Change Visualization Tools. Cal-Adapt is an online resource designed to provide a view of how climate change might affect California at the local level. Here you can work with visualization tools, access data, and participate in community sharing to contribute your own knowledge.
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