Monthly Board Meeting This Thursday in Oakland–CANCELED

…CANCELED…

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RECYCLING ASSOCIATION

BOARD MEETING – THURS February 15, 2018

Location: John Moore’s Office, 1970 Broadway St, Oakland, CA 94612

Food served at 6 pm; meeting begins at 6:30 pm.

Open to the public – all welcome to attend. Please RSVP to the NCRA Office if you wish to attend. Coming late? Let the office know so someone can be prepared to come down to let you in; the doorperson leaves at 6pm.

 

Alameda County Food Bank – Big Slices of the Food Recovery Pie

By NCRA Food Waste Reduction Committee
For our report, Commercial Food Waste Reduction in Alameda County, we documented the amount of surplus food that was rescued and distributed in Alameda County. We estimated that about 5.7 million pounds of surplus food that was generated within the county was redistributed to feed hungry people in Alameda County in 2016.

A major player is the Alameda County Community Food Bank. As we documented in our report, the Food Bank runs the grocery rescue or Food Recovery Program which matches grocery stores to agencies (like food pantries) that distribute the surplus food (like individually wrapped salads, sandwiches, produce and food staples). Over 3.6 million pounds of food from over 100 donors was redistributed through the grocery rescue program in 2016. This grew to over 4 million pounds in 2017.

Since we published our report in July 2017, we learned about other sources of surplus food obtained by the Food Bank.

The Food Bank receives donations from large manufacturers and retail distributors, some of which might otherwise have been disposed. The Local Donation Program from Distributors and Manufacturers accounts for over 25% of the food that they distribute. This compares to about 12% from the grocery rescue program.The Local Donation Program has grown by 2.2 million pounds over the last two years, with last fiscal year totaling 6.2 million pounds.  About 40% of this product is produce, and overall, it consists of a fair mix of dry goods, fresh bread/tortillas, fresh dairy, fresh juice, frozen product (meat, meals, etc.). The Food Bank works with about 20 donation partners throughout the county weekly, and averages about 630,000 pounds of surplus food redistributed per month.

About 45% of the food that the Food Bank distributes comes from the California Association of Food Banks Farm to Family Program which distributed 164 million pounds of surplus produce to 43 food banks statewide and partnered with more than 135 farmers to access 44 different crops (which might otherwise have been wasted or ploughed under). This surplus food is generated outside of Alameda County, but feeds hungry people in county and throughout the state.

Senate Bill 1383 requires local jurisdictions to up the ante on food rescue and ensure that 20% of currently disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption in 2025. As the state identifies priorities for food rescue, it will need to consider the role of the large, traditional sources of surplus food (farms, manufacturers, and distributors) compared to the smaller, more difficult-to-address sources of surplus food (such as restaurants, schools, corporate cafeterias, and caterers).

Thank you Caroline Chow, Food Resource Development Coordinator, Alameda County Community Food Bank for contributing to this piece.

 

Monthly Board Meeting – This Thursday 1/18/18

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RECYCLING ASSOCIATION

BOARD MEETING – THURS January 18, 2018

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT our Annual Members Meeting.  The Annual Members Meeting will be held in April, at a Location TBD

Location: John Moore’s Office, 1970 Broadway St, Oakland, CA 94612

Food served at 6 pm; meeting begins at 6:30 pm.

Open to the public – all welcome to attend. Please RSVP to the NCRA Office if you wish to attend.

DRAFT MEETING AGENDA HERE.

Recycling Update 2018 Speakers!

Over 20 presenters will inform and inspire the 23rd Annual Recycling Update conference.  Not all speaker bios and synopses have been submitted to NCRA yet, but here are quite a few in alphabetical order to whet your appetite!  See our ZWW/Recycling Update page under our Activities Tab to register for RU and to see our first reveals of the activities being planned for the annual Zero Waste Week.

David Allaway, Senior Policy Analyst, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  David will address Oregon’s efforts to move up the hierarchy with a focus on reducing wasted food, reuse/repair, and the built environment; Oregon’s transition to sustainable materials management; and the development of new statewide systems to measure progress towards broad sustainability goals that include – but go beyond – traditional weight-based waste recovery metrics.

Ric Anthony, Principal, Richard Anthony Associates, “Why Bottle Caps?” – Bottle caps are one of the most frequent plastic items found in coastal cleanups. There is need to bring the producers these products and packages to the World table to draft Zero Waste responsibility plans for proper management of discarded plastic via redesign for recyclability, buyback purchasing opportunities (closed circle), and recovery campaigns for vagrant plastics on land and sea. In ten minutes I will discuss the science and the campaign which includes legislative action to force the redesign to leash the lid, a lawsuit to fund the cleanup and a public education campaign that includes returning the caps found in coastal cleanups back to the producer.

Nicole Bassett, Co-Founder, The Renewal Workshop, “Enabling a Circular Economy for Apparel” – The reason we have waste in the apparel industry is the design of the industry itself. The Renewal Workshop leverages technology, systems thinking and marketplace drivers to start to evolve the industry towards a more regenerative model where resources are wisely used.

Will Bakx, Soil Scientist/Owner, Sonoma Compost Company, “It Ain’t Over until the “Overs” have a Home” – When making finished compost or mulch, ‘overs’ are screened off to create a clean, uniform marketable product.  The ‘overs’ are the coarser woody fraction that used to go to biofuel plants for green energy.  As biofuel plants are shutting down or raising the bar on what products they accept, Woodageddon has arrived.  Or, Chunky Mulch is here.  Clean up your ‘overs’ and return all organics to the soil.  Mulch: the obstacles and the solutions.

Erin Cooke, Sustainability Director, San Francisco International Airport and Jennifer Acton, Environmental Operations Manager, San Francisco International Airport, “Achieving Zero: SFO’s Journey” – San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO or the Airport) has established the bold, Strategic Plan goal, of becoming the world’s first zero-waste Airport by 2021. In setting this target, our Airport asks the question of “how low can we go?” within its 14 million square foot campus materials system. To accomplish this bold goal, SFO drafted its first Airport Zero Waste Plan, which sets a pathway to respond to this question and achieve this goal. The Airport’s key implementation leads will walk attendees through SFO’s approach and gain feedback, from you, on what approaches will help our campus reach zero.

Sharon Daraphonhdeth, Interim Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) at the University of California Berkeley, “UC Berkeley Students Make Zero Waste Possible” – UC Berkeley is committed to reaching zero waste by 2020. Sharon will be presenting on the major accomplishments, created and implemented by students on campus. She will touch on the importance and power of student leaders, and how they are shaping the conversation and paving the way towards zero waste.

Mikhail Davis, Director of Restorative Enterprise, Interface, “Making Closed Loop Carpet a Reality” – For nearly 25 years, Interface has been grappling with the challenge of making their new carpet tiles from old carpet, with many setbacks and breakthroughs along the way.  Mikhail will discuss the Interface journey to make carpet to carpet recycling a technical and economic reality and how and why they decided to break with the carpet industry in 2017 and support the passage of AB 1158, the nation’s first EPR law for carpet.

Adam Gendell, Associate Director, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, “The State of Sustainable Packaging” – This presentation gives an overview of the most current understanding of packaging sustainability, including industry trends, regulatory happenings, and hot topics in sustainable packaging. Learn about the latest news and hear about the industry-facing work of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

Zoe Heller, Assistant Director of Policy Development, CalRecycle – The export of recyclable material is a key component of California’s recycling infrastructure.  China’s import restriction is resulting in less recyclable materials leaving California, creating opportunities and challenges for how we manage our materials domestically.

Alexandra Lalor, “Lessons Learned from Zero Waste Youth Brazil” – From Brazil to the United States, people are coming together and collaborating to create a zero waste world. Representatives from Zero Waste Youth USA will share their experiences from attending the Brazil Zero Waste Youth conference, including challenges we face, similarities we share, and connections we’ve made as we continue to build an international zero waste movement.

Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Senior Coordinator, San Francisco Dept. of Environment, “San Francisco Upgrades MRF And Expands Materials Recycled” – San Francisco made major upgrades at Recology’s Recycle Central @ Pier 96 to increase the types of materials recovered, improve quality and reduce residual. These upgrades, along with efforts to reduce plastic in compostables and pursue the highest and best use of resources, resulted in San Francisco moving paper cups and cartons from composting into recycling, as well as moving aseptic cartons and plastic film from trash to recycling. Hear how these changes were made, and the latest status and results of the in-progress 2-year citywide rollout of outreach along with smaller trash and larger recycling bins, while addressing recent challenging market conditions.

Patrick Mathews, Salinas Valley Recycles, “Organics Management Planning in the Salinas Valley, the Perfect Storm” – The presentation will overview the expansion of SVR’s Organics Management Program and how we will utilize the $1.34 million grant awarded by CalRecycle under their Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Organics Grant Program for 2016-17.  The topics will include selected technology review, Ag waste recovery, collections, and food recovery and distribution in the Salinas Valley.  The discussion will also outline the unique organics “perfect storm” SVR is planning for in the near future: increased organics recovery, cannabis wastes, and growing challenges for the cattle feedstock (culls) markets.

Kelly McBee, Policy Analyst, Californians Against Waste, “Preserving California’s Bottle Bill” – California’s unique beverage container recycling law was enacted in 1987 and is one of the largest and most successful Bottle Bill programs in North America.  However, over the last few years, unsustainable losses of revenue for recyclers has led to the closing of hundreds of bottle buyback centers, denying California the full scope of the program’s greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits and others. Kelly will discuss opportunities for comprehensive program reform, legislative efforts to date, and next steps.

Terry McDonald, DR3 Mattress Recycling, and Saint Vincent de Paul Lane County

John Moore, Legal Counsel, NCRA, “Winning Isn’t Everything” – Presentation will discuss three local litigation cases from the past year.

Kate O’Neill, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, “The Global (and Local) Impacts of China’s Scrap Ban” – This presentation addresses the unfolding impacts of China’s crackdown on scrap imports, with an emphasis on scrap plastics. I trace out implications for California, the US and the rest of the world, and discuss the many different options currently on the table.

Kerry Parker, Recycling Specialist, City of Alameda, and Samantha Sommer, Waste Prevention Program Manager, Rethink Disposable, “Straws-on-Request, and ReThink Disposable: Unpackaging Alameda Initiative” – The City of Alameda, now implementing a new law that bans plastic straws and other single-use plastics, has found itself suddenly in the midst of ongoing arguments regarding the branding of that whipped coffee drink everyone loves; responding to tough questions like whether or not something deemed “compostable” or “recyclable” actually is, and finding the way through tricky policy-making where most disposable single-use plastic food ware is now banned in the small island city.  Find out about how Alameda’s partnership with Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program to create a demonstration project to “unpackage” a Bay Area community has brought expertise, resources, and technical assistance to hundreds of island businesses, and supports the city’s ambitious source reduction policy to keep our coastlines and bays free from plastics and other debris.

Jerame Rentaria

Nicole Tai, CEO, GreenLynx – Nicole will discuss the growth of GreenLynx, which started in 2013 as a deconstruction coordination group and has grown into a full service reclaimed materials company with a Woodworks, Retail Store, Deconstruction service, and Green Building division. GreenLynx opened its store in Santa Rosa in August 2017 and is currently expanding to include reclaimed furniture and finish products, a reclaimed lumber retail and receiving yard, and on-site pickups of reclaimed lumber. Nicole Tai will also briefly discuss the recent Deconstruction Workshop GreenLynx hosted along with the EPA, and the amazing group formed out of this gathering.

Monica Wilson, US and Canada Program Director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), “Recycling is Not Enough:Findings from our Global Plastic Recycling Research Project” – Working with organizations in China, Southeast Asia, EU, and US, GAIA’s research project on plastic recycling found that as exports increase to Southeast Asia processing may increase by the informal recycling sector, which would have environmental and health impacts on workers and surrounding communities. We also found that international plastic recycling trade transparency is nearly nonexistent and that stronger coordinated action needs to be taken by governments and other actors to curb the overproduction and consumption of plastic.

Recycle Bicycle – West Oakland Tour

By Tim Dewey-Mattia, NCRA Co-Chair – Membership, Engagement and Activities Committee, 12/5/17

Postponed a month due to the smoke from the North Bay fires, the new date for the West Oakland Recycle Bicycle tour brought sunny skies and a dozen NCRA bicyclists out to Frank Ogawa Plaza. The group set out up San Pablo Avenue and over to the now-shuttered site of Alliance Recycling, a buyback center – the focus of the movie Dogtown Redemption – that recently closed due to neighborhood opposition. We discussed the compounding pressures on buyback centers – unsustainably low state processing payments, skyrocketing rents and rapid gentrification of neighborhoods like West Oakland.

Down Peralta Street at the West Oakland Farm Park, it was a much more uplifting scene. Here City Slickers Farm has a community farm, kitchen and playground that provides food and a gathering space to the community. We enjoyed some bites of fresh veggies before cruising just around the block to marvel at the massive metal piles at CASS Inc, aka Custom Alloy, which processes both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Next was a quick peek in the gates of Oakland’s single-stream recycling MRF, California Waste Solutions (not open on the weekend). With China’s dramatic announcements to cut back on imports and the proliferation of random plastic packaging, curbside collectors are feeling the squeeze. Investment in recycling infrastructure and domestic markets would certainly be appreciated.

Down Mandela Parkway and over to Magnolia St, we came to the highlight of the tour – the O2 Artisans Aggregate Eco-Industrial Park. Such an impressive and cool spot – with tons of cool reuse and recycling industry going on. Aitan Mizrahi gave us an hour tour, as we poked our heads in on a sake factory, a soldier fly larvae to animal feed operation, salvaged woodworking, aquaponics…and of course, the Don Bugito “pre-hispanic snackeria”, where they grow edible insects inside a tidy old shipping container.

We hopped back on our bikes and passed the only open buyback center left in West Oakland, National Recycling, then headed past the EBMUD digesters and out to the Port of Oakland. The Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is an under-the-radar and amazing park with panoramic views of the bay, the bridge, the San Francisco Skyline and the port around you. The Port of Oakland is the 5th biggest container port in the US, and recyclables make up about a quarter of total exports – that comes to approximately 2 million tons of recyclables shipped out in 2016 alone. We had a discussion of the impending moves by China and the impacts on markets.… and a quick snack of tasty chocolate covered crickets and spicy mealworms that we picked up from Don Bugito.

The Sutta Company and Schnitzer Steel are both visible from the Adeline overpass, as we headed back from the port and over to our final destination – Old Kan Beer & Co, for beer and food. The fish & chips are highly recommended.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable and interesting few hours exploring the Zero Waste landscape of West Oakland – where the scope and range of different recycling businesses is quite remarkable and always changing.

Thanks again to board member Hilary Near for planning out the route and for being a superb tour guide – and if you missed it, keep posted for another West Oakland Recycle Bicycle tour coming up in 2018!

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