BioCycle January 2010, Vol. 51, No. 1
End Of An Era: CalRecycle Is The “New” CIWMB
CalRecycle is the new home of California’s recycling and waste reduction efforts. CalRecycle was created on January 1, 2010 as a result of legislation signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on July 28, 2009 that abolished the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) and transferred its duties, programs and staff to the new Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (DRRR) under the Natural Resources Agency. The legislation also moved the Division of Recycling from the Department of Conservation to CalRecycle, along with its responsibilities related to beverage container recycling. Margo Reid Brown, previously chair of CIWMB, was appointed by Schwarzenegger as chief deputy director of CalRecycle.
DRRR is made up of two divisions: the Division of Waste Recovery and Division of Recycling. The Division of Waste Recovery promotes the goals of Zero Waste California in partnership with local government, industry and the public. It manages the approximately 93 million tons of waste generated each year by reducing waste whenever possible, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting management of all materials to their highest and best use, and regulating the handling, processing and disposal of solid waste. The Division of Recycling manages the the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act. It is responsible for participant certification and registration, oversees compliance by program participants, and administers programs mandated in statute related to beverage container recycling. It provides grant funding, technical assistance and education. The website for the new department is www.calrecycle.ca.gov.
Mandatory GHG Emissions Reporting At Landfills
The mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rule finalized by USEPA in September went into effect on January 1, 2010. The rule requires the monitoring, calculating and reporting of GHG emissions at landfills whether or not landfill gas (LFG) is collected. It applies to both open and closed MSW landfills with greater than 385,000 tons of waste in place – accepted after January 1, 1980 – and that generate a minimum of 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MTCO2E) per year. Reporting for 2010 must be submitted by March 31, 2011. R.W. Beck, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC (a consulting conglomerate), says that a general rule of thumb, based on modeling of test cases, has determined that landfills with “the potential to generate as little as 200 standard cubic feet/minute of LFG can be subject to the rule. Many landfills may need to change their operations by January in regards to flow meter calibration frequency, landfill gas temperature, pressure and moisture monitoring and methane monitoring frequency.” For a copy of a new R.W. Beck fact sheet on the landfill emissions monitoring requirements, email email@example.com.
Community Benefits Of Land Revitalization
Building sustainable industries on former brownfield sites – including urban farms – is a central theme of the USEPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization. A new publication, Building Vibrant Communities: Community Benefits of Land Revitalization (October 2009) offers tips on brownfield redevelopment and features case studies of successful projects. For example, the City of Houston’s EPA Sustainability pilot helped transform a former 300-acre landfill into a solar power farm in a blighted neighborhood that is 10 minutes from the downtown, creating jobs and renewable power. In New Britain, Connecticut, a 3-acre urban brownfield property was cleaned up and developed as an urban farm and community garden. Urban Oaks Organic Farm employs neighborhood residents, as well as invites 10 local teenagers each summer to participate in a 10-week, paid position program that offers hands-on organic and sustainable farming educational training. Greensgrow Farm in Philadelphia opened in 1997 on a former industrial site as a hydroponic garden. Today, the property has raised beds of organic soil filled with numerous vegetable and herb plants, a farm stand and a nursery. Building Vibrant Communities also covers brownfield redevelopment projects related to arts and culture, housing and mixed uses, and community centers and civic uses. A PDF can be downloaded at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/policy/comben.pdf.
January 19, 2010 | General
BioCycle January 2010, Vol. 51, No. 1