California Boosts Recycling Infrastructure to Curb Plastic and Glass Waste

Author:Suny Group

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has awarded more than $11 million to five companies in Butte, Fresno, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties to increase the state’s recycling infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The businesses will create 68 new jobs and utilize nearly 23,000 tons of recycled material per year to manufacture new products.

CalRecycle’s Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative 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.

“Long-term sustainability depends upon our ability to close the loop in California and turn our waste stream into a supply stream for local businesses,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Not only are these projects a great way to repurpose recyclable material and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they also help diversify our local economies.”

The grants seek to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by expanding existing capacity or establishing new facilities in California that use California-generated postconsumer recycled fiber (paper, paperboard, cardboard, or textiles), plastic, or glass to manufacture products. In addition to conserving natural resources, manufacturing products from recycled materials often requires less energy and results in fewer GHG emissions than making products from virgin materials.

CalRecycle received 14 eligible applications requesting $32.9 million in funding. Awards were granted to the five highest-scoring applicants based on criteria that included greenhouse gas reductions and materials diverted from landfills.