News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2019
Release #2019-10
Media Contact: Syd Fong

Earth Day 2019: “A Clean California Starts with You”

SACRAMENTO–The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is out with its annual Earth Day events calendar to help Californians take action toward a more sustainable future. On Earth Day—Monday, April 22—and throughout April and May, local events ranging from family-friendly activities to community service projects and cleanups give every Californian the opportunity to get involved.

“Environmental progress is achieved one community, one person, and one decision at a time,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Whether it’s participating in a community cleanup, attending a local Earth Day festivity, or making simple changes to reduce waste and recycle right, Earth Day is a reminder that a clean California starts with you.”

Local Earth Day events also provide an opportunity for parents, educators, and communities to reinforce environmental literacy among California youth, equipping them with the knowledge and awareness to successfully confront the environmental challenges of the 21st century. 

Find an Earth Day 2019 event near you and consider making these simple, practical changes in your daily life: 


A Clean California starts with … Did You Know?
A grocery store game plan. Creating meal plans and grocery lists can help save money and prevent waste, reducing the estimated 6 million tons of food waste currently landfilled in California and accounting for roughly 18 percent of California’s disposal stream. When it decomposes, food and other organic waste emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Selective shopping. Opting for loose produce or items with minimal packaging can help reduce the amount of waste you generate each day. One quarter of California’s disposal stream is packaging waste. Each year, Californians dispose of more than 5 million tons of paper packaging and more than 2 million tons of plastic packaging. Global market disruptions have made these material types particularly hard to recycle.
Sites assessed  Choosing reusable beverage containers over single-use throwaway bottles or cups reduces the amount of material that must be collected, sorted, and directed to uncertain recycling markets or California landfills. In addition to helping prevent litter and ocean plastic pollution, opting for reusable containers eliminates the need to manufacture new products from raw materials—reducing energy use and air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions.
Recycling right. Industry data suggest anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the material collected for recycling (by weight) is not recyclable. Contamination includes liquid, food, or any item not accepted in your local recycling program. Common non-recyclable items include: plastic bags, dishware, batteries, diapers, garden hoses, greasy pizza boxes, packaging with plastic or wax coating, paper towels, and clothing. Check with your city/county to see what is recyclable in your area.
Clean recyclables. Recyclable items with food or liquid residue might be landfilled and can contaminate other recyclable materials in your cart. Add a bit of water to your containers and give them a good shake before tossing them into your recycling bin.

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CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.