The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has awarded more than $25 million in California Climate Investments to bolster organics recycling infrastructure in the state and rescue edible food for Californians in need. The projects in 10 California communities are set to transform nearly a half-million tons of discarded food, green waste and other organic materials into value-added products like biofuel, compost, fertilizers and soil amendments.
“California has the opportunity to close the loop with organics by transforming the single largest part of our waste stream into a supply stream for local businesses,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline in a statement. “These California Climate Investments not only recycle California-generated waste into new and valuable products, they also create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.”
When sent to landfills, organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a short-lived climate pollutant 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide. CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program helps fund construction, renovation or expansion of facilities in California that recycle organic material into products like compost and renewable energy.
CalRecycle’s Organics Grant 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 human health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.
CalRecycle awards Organics Grants based on criteria of greenhouse gas reductions, the amount of organic material diverted from landfills, benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities and project readiness. Eligible applicants include cities, counties and other local agencies; businesses; California universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; and qualifying Indian Tribes. Maximum Organics Grant awards are $4 million for anaerobic digestion projects and $3 million for compost projects.