California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
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|Headquarters||1001 I Street Sacramento, California|
|Parent agency||California Environmental Protection Agency|
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (also known as CalRecycle) is a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency that oversees the state's waste management, recycling, and waste reduction programs. CalRecycle was established in 2010 to replace the California Integrated Waste Management Board. It is known for administering the California Redemption Value (CRV) program, among other responsibilities.
State Solid Waste Management Board
The original waste management agency, the State Solid Waste Management Board, was established in 1972. It was renamed the California Waste Management Board in 1982.
California Integrated Waste Management Board
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) was established in 1989 under AB 939 introduced by Byron Sher of the California State Assembly and signed into law by Governor George Deukmejian.
The CIWMB was one of six agencies under the California Environmental Protection Agency (abbreviated Cal/EPA, to distinguish it from the federal United States Environmental Protection Agency—EPA). The CIWMB was led by a six-member policy-making Board. Four members of the Board were appointed by the governor, and each branch of the Legislature made one appointment. Board terms ran for up to four years.
In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to eliminate the CIWMB as well as 87 other state boards and commissions. California state senator Tony Strickland introduced Senate Bill (SB) 63 in January 2009 to dissolve the CIWMB; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 63 into law in July 2009. The California Integrated Waste Management Board—CIWMB became defunct on January 1, 2010.
California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
The CIWMB's duties and responsibilities were transferred to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), another agency within the California Environmental Protection Agency, in January 2010. The functions of the beverage container recycling deposit/California Redemption Value (CRV) programs established by the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (AB 2020, Margolin - 1986), or "Bottle Bill," were consolidated from California Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling into the new CalRecycle.
Instead of monthly meetings of a Board and Sub-Committees as was done under the CIWMB structure, CalRecycle holds a Monthly Public Meeting in the Byron Sher Auditorium at 1001 I Street in Sacramento with a live audio broadcast available. CalRecycle Monthly Public Meetings provide an overview of many pending and recently-made decisions, updates about ongoing department projects and work activities, and a general report from the Director of CalRecycle.
January 2010 – January 2011
January 2011 – February 2012
CalRecycle deputy director Mark Leary (and Executive Director of the former CIWMB from 2001 to 2010 ) served as Acting Chief Deputy Director and Acting Director of CalRecycle.
February 2012 – May 2012
October 2011 – July 2015
Caroll Mortensen was the first director of CalRecycle appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in October 2011, confirmed unanimously by the state senate in May 2012, and served until July 2015. Both Mark Leary (2011-2012) and Margo Reid Brown (2010-2011) were acting directors, but Mortensen was the first to be appointed Director of CalRecycle by the governor. Mortensen continues as a senior environmental scientist within the Legislative and External Affairs Office at CalRecycle.
July 2015 – present
Scott Smithline is the current[when?] director of CalRecycle and was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and confirmed unanimously by the state senate in July 2015. As director, Smithline leads efforts on waste reduction and recycling as well as oversight of waste disposal in order to protect public health and the environment. Before becoming director, he served as the department's assistant director for policy development since 2011. Ken DeRosa is current chief deputy director of CalRecycle and was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in November 2012.
Accomplishments and criticism
When the CIWMB was established, California diverted only 10 percent of solid waste out of landfills and into recycling and/or reuse projects. By 2007, the waste diversion rate had increased to 58 percent. The CIWMB's cooperative efforts with California's local jurisdictions (counties and municipalities) in furtherance of AB 939's mandate to reach 50 percent waste diversion contributed to the rise.
The CIWMB worked to implement programs to seek "a higher and better use" for an estimated 92 million tons of waste generated each year in California. Specifically, the CIWMB provided grants and loans that helped California's recycling industry; used incentive grants and loans to help spur the private sector into developing new markets for recycled materials; cleaned up solid waste disposal sites; and cleared illegal waste tire disposal sites. The CIWMB also regulated California landfills; promoted the proper disposal of used motor oil; promoted the reuse and recycling of electronic waste; coordinated the safe disposal of sharps waste; and encouraged the purchase of environmentally preferable devices.
In 2001, CIWMB became the first government agency to adopt "Zero Waste" as a strategic goal.
By 2017, the recycling rates for bottles and cans in California had fallen to their lowest point in almost a decade, and critics alleged CalRecycle was not sufficiently adjusting its subsidiary processing payments to changing market conditions.
Composting Goals and Regulations
According to CalRecycle, organic waste takes up about a third of California's landfills  with food waste alone taking up about 15.5 percent. The decomposition of this organic waste in landfills contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Organic waste must be diverted from landfills and to Compostable Material Handling Facilities and Operations that are permitted to compost under CalRecycle regulation Title 14, Natural Resources—Division 7, Chapter 3.1 approved April 4, 2003. This regulation was adopted as a means of implementing the provisions of the California Waste Management Act of 1989 relating to composting. California operations that only compost agricultural material and sell or give away more than 2,500 cubic yards or more a year, and operations and facilities that use agricultural and clean green material and sell or give away 1,000 cubic yards or more a year are required to abide by the regulations of chapter 3.1 and obtain a Compostable Materials Handling Facility Permit under Article 2, Section 17854, unless they meet certain exclusions. Handling of compostable materials during use as growth mediums on mushroom farms and Vermicomposting farms are not subject to these regulations. The regulations prohibit the composting of unprocessed mammalian tissue unless used for researching pathogen reduction, treated or untreated medical waste, and hazardous waste, and require minimization of odor, impacts, litter, noise, dust, and pathogens, as well as emissions of the permitted facilities.
- California Environmental Protection Agency
- California Redemption Value
- California Green Lodging Program
- Index of recycling articles
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- 3,000 mile myth
- Waste reduction
- Edgar, Evan. An unusual obituary: the Integrated Waste Management Board. Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine Capitol Weekly (Sacramento, CA), November 12, 2009.
- (CalRecycle), California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. "Food Waste Composting: Regulations Review". www.calrecycle.ca.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
- Text of Senate Bill 63 as signed into law on July 28, 2009.
- California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery—CalRecycle . accessed 2.14.2014.
- (CalRecycle), California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. "Statutory and Regulatory Authority and Citations: Compostable Materials Resources". www.calrecycle.ca.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
- "Ca. Gov. Schwarzenegger Announces Appointments to New Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery; Appoints Margo Reid Brown Chief Deputy". California Newswire. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
- "Press Release: Waste Board Selects Executive Director". California Integrated Waste Management Board. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
- "Governor Brown Announces Appointments - February 2012". Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
- "Governor Brown Announces Appointments - October 2011". Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2014-10-16.
- "Legislative & External Affairs Office". California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- "Executive Team". California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- "Governor Brown Announces Appointments - July 2015". Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2014-10-16.
- "Scott Smithline, Director - Meet the Executive Team". California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- "Governor Brown Announces Appointments - November 2012". Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
- "Recycling centers continue to struggle, driving California recycling rates down". The Mercury News. 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- (CalRecycle), California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. "Organic Materials Management: CalRecycle". www.calrecycle.ca.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
- "Chapter 3.1. Compostable Materials Handling Operations and Facilities Regulatory Requirements". May 28, 2009.
- Rice, Dorothy (March 20, 1998). "LEA Email: Composting Operations Regulatory Requirements".