California Events

We're pleased to share news, grants, educational events and opportunities offered by our Technical Councils and industry partners:


April 2020:


Plastic Pollution 2020 Virtual Film Series

Plastic Wars, a joint investigation from FRONTLINE and NPR, reveals how plastic makers have publicly promoted recycling for decades, despite privately expressing doubts that widespread plastic recycling would ever be economically viable. Stream on PBS beginning Tuesday, March 31.

Microplastic Madness is the story of 56 fifth graders from P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn – living on the frontline of the climate crisis – whose actions on plastic pollution morph into extraordinary leadership and scalable victories. Join us on Saturday, April 4 at 4 PM for a virtual screening followed by a Zoom Q&A co-hosted by the movie’s co-directors, Atsuko Quirk and Debby Lee Cohen of Cafeteria Culture and our president, Judith Enck. Please note that this is a simultaneous virtual viewing and you must RSVP to participate.

The Story of Plastic is a seething expose uncovering the ugly truth behind the current global plastic pollution crisis. Tune in to watch or stream on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 on the Discovery Channel (exact timing TBA soon) or stream via Discovery Go after April 22nd.

Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic world. Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average American who decides to take a closer look at our cultural love affair with plastics. Stream via Amazon or iTunes or stream for free via Kanopy using your public library card. Curriculum Packet for lessons and classroom activities that meet national education standards for students in grades 4-12.

GASLAND a movie about fracking, because the vast majority of plastic made in America is now made from a byproduct of fracking (plus chemicals). In fact, the ever-increasing sale of plastics is the oil and gas industry’s plan for how to make up for falling revenues as the demand for fracked gas falls. Plastics and fracking are inextricably linked! Stream it free via Films for Action or rent it for $3.99 or buy it on iTunes or Amazon


Webinar: What to Do About “Flushable” Wipes

With the COVID-19 pandemic, more "flushable" wet wipes are being used by the public, which is wreaking havoc on sanitation systems and causing costly damage. One example is the Montara Water and Sanitary District (MWSD), which experienced a clog on 3/20 that cost $50,000 to remedy. Last week, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a press release advising the public to NOT flush wipes down the toilet.
April 10, 10 AM to 11:30 PM. Register now to learn about what "flushable" wet wipes are doing to our sewer systems & what you can do about it.
Reduced price ($75): California Product Stewardship Council Members
FREE for NSAC funders & collaborating NGOS


CRRA K-12 Technical Council Event (Likely Postponed)

This free event is for CRRA K-12 TC members, CRRA members and others interested in school recycling. Email Debbi Dodson to preregister, SPACE IS LIMITED

A brown bag networking lunch and educational tour of the S.C.R.A.P. Gallery in Cathedral City on Wednesday, April 15 from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm.

S.C.R.A.P. is an art and environmental conservation museum located in Cathedral City, serving students throughout the Coachella Valley. Kids create art on-site by using donated discarded materials that is being diverted from the landfill and repurposed into art. The gallery exhibits works of art by renowned artists alongside those of S.C.R.A.P. Gallery youth, and houses both permanent and temporary interactive exhibits on issues like ocean plastic, water scarcity, coral reefs and climate change. The S.C.R.A.P. Gallery serves as a resource for teachers and students alike.
Karen Riley with S.C.R.A.P. and Deanna Pressgrove, Environmental Conservation Manager with the Cathedral City will discuss the partnership of the City and the Gallery and how they work with local schools. Afterwards we will eat lunch and share updates from our own school recycling programs. Ideally attendees will come away inspired to create their own partnerships and/or bring their students to S.C.R.A.P. for field trips.


#BeCause Student Poster Contest

Even in these trying times, we need to continue to provide encouragement, motivation, and creative opportunities for our youth. This April marks two important dates, Global Youth Service Day and the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and while students may be at home, they can still make a difference. That’s why we are launching the #BeCause Student Poster Contest - What’s Your Cause? We know kids care about the environment and here is an opportunity to share their creativity and thoughts - all online. The contest is open to all students, anywhere around the globe. We are accepting drawings, photographs, illustrations and other mediums submitted by email. Artwork will be shared and displayed on a variety of social media platforms including a dedicated S.C.R.A.P. Gallery virtual exhibition. For more information, email
Deadline: April 17


CRRA Board & Technical Council Nominations

Nominations will be taken through April 17, 2020 for CRRA Board of Directors and CRRA Technical Council Executive Committees.

For the full Nominations/Elections Timetable. PLEASE NOTE: To access this page, you must be logged into the CRRA Member Portal. 
REMINDER: Voting will commence on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. In order to receive a ballot, your membership must be in good standing. 


Earth Day 2020 - Theme: Climate Action

April 22nd, The enormous challenges — but also the vast opportunities — of acting on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.

At the end of 2020, nations will be expected to increase their national commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. 


Western Regional Symposium | SWANA Gold Rush Chapter (Likely Postponed)

On April 27-30, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)’s 49th Annual Western Regional Symposium and Trade Show, "20/20: Is the Future in Focus? Decisions for the Next Decade", will be hosted by the Gold Rush Chapter in Seaside, California.
View presentations on the latest projects, research, or case studies at the premier event for solid waste professionals on the west coast.
Embassy Suites by Hilton – Monterey Bay Seaside
1441 Canyon Del Rey Blvd.
Seaside, CA 93955
Registration is now open!


Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program FY 2019-20

Through this Program, CalRecycle will grant funds to one entity (Grantee) who will in turn select community composting project sites throughout the state that will receive support via this program. Grantee will be responsible for administering the Program, including working with selected community groups to plan, implement, and operate project sites. After project sites are selected, the Grantee will work with community partners to develop, expand or improve community sites that provide composting, environmental education, compost-related job training and other services to their communities.

To access the application and information regarding eligibility and program criteria, please visit the Notice of Funds Available webpage.

Extended Application Deadline: April 30!


May to August 2020:


RethinkWaste's 2020 Trash to Art Contest

The annual Trash to Art Contest is open to 3rd-5th grade students and classes in the RethinkWaste service area, where students can create an art piece using materials that would otherwise have been thrown away or recycled.
Extended Deadline! Submissions are due Friday, May 8 at Noon.
Visit their website for more information and to submit entries.


Sustainable Brands 2020, Long Beach - June 1-4, 2020

Join the Sustainable Brands community at their annual flagship conference SB’20 Long Beach at the Long Beach Convention Center, to learn the latest developments in sustainable business and to meet the leaders behind the movement. 

More than 250 influential leaders will host interactive discussions, breakout sessions, keynote presentations, deep-dive workshops, and networking activities throughout the week. The four-day program encourages participants to collaborate around planned activities supporting insight and understanding of regenerative systems and how to build them while delivering healthy business growth.

Register for the conference, prices increase on March 22nd. Special rates are available for Groups (4 for 3), NGO, Non-Profit, Government, Educational, and Students, or access the Innovation Expo for $49. 


CRRA 44th Annual Conference & Trade Show

Each year, the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) organizes one of the most comprehensive and informative conferences dedicated to recycling and sustainable materials management in California and beyond. CRRA is well known for its training and educational offerings since the early 1970s. The Annual Conference and Tradeshow attracts over 600 individuals annually and showcases more than 30 sessions each year with over 100 industry experts as presenters.
Register for the conference to be held at the Hyatt Regency SFO, Burlingame, California, on August 16-19, 2020. FOR LODGING DETAILS, CLICK HERE.


Western Regional Symposium | SWANA Gold Rush Chapter

Due to restrictions on the size of meeting groups and travel restrictions, it has been postponed.
From August 31 to September 3 (tentative), the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)’s 49th Annual Western Regional Symposium and Trade Show, "20/20: Is the Future in Focus? Decisions for the Next Decade", will be hosted by the Gold Rush Chapter in Seaside, California.
View presentations on the latest projects, research, or case studies at the premier event for solid waste professionals on the west coast.
Embassy Suites by Hilton – Monterey Bay Seaside
1441 Canyon Del Rey Blvd.
Seaside, CA 93955
Registration is open!


NCRA Recycling Update

As of 3/10, Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) has decided to postpone RU2020 and the other Zero Waste Week Events until September/October.  They will have revised dates soon. 

NRC Zero Waste Conference

National Recycling Coalition (NRC), in line with the University’s announcement and in the interest of public health, is suspending the in-person National Zero Waste Conference scheduled for next week. They are no longer planning an "in-person" meeting and organizers are researching alternatives. Further details will be coming soon and we invite you to visit the site for news and updates.

Zero Waste Education Opportunities

As part of the NRC’s suspension of the National Zero Waste Conference, we are working to provide some of the content of the Conference to registered attendees online to provide support for you as you strive for Zero Waste.  Below are some related Zero Waste education opportunities for you.  Almost half of the speakers on the Container Deposit Laws Livestream were going to speak at the NRC National Zero Waste Conference.  If you would like to meet people virtually who registered for the Conference to still build our Zero Waste network, please sign up to be on the Attendees List for the conference, which will be provided to all registrants.

Recorded Livestream: Best Practices in Container Deposit Laws - Monday, March 16, 2020 (9 am-3 pm PST)

Livestream this gathering of international experts to learn about best practices to guide the development of and changes to beverage container deposit legislation. This Livestream is being offered free of charge thanks to the generosity of Container Recycling Institute (CRI) sponsor Re-Fold. This livestream will be recorded and available following the event, including slideshows.
Susan V. Collins, President of CRI, will be joined by several panels of experts and moderators including the following speakers who were going to speak at the National Zero Waste Conference::
  • Clarissa Morawski, CEO, Reloop Platform, Barcelona, Spain
  • Kate Bailey, Program Director, Eco-Cycle
  • Kirstie Pecci, Senior Fellow, Conservation Law Foundation
  • Martin Bourque, Executive Director, Ecology Center
  • Mandi McKay, Sustainability Director, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • Joseph Button, Director of Sustainability, Straus Family Creamery


2020 Used Oil/HHW Training and Symposium

As of 3/12, the 2020 Used Oil/HHW Training and Symposium has been postponed due to conditions stemming from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Postponing the Training and Symposium allows members of our community to focus on supporting their own organizations and communities during this unprecedented period of disruption and uncertainty.
As soon as a new date is determined for the Training and Symposium, we will update our website and send out an announcement.
CalRecycle will be hosting the 2020 Used Oil/Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Training and Symposium. This year's theme is “Haz-Madness: Champions for Change" as California faces a multitude of challenges with managing household hazardous waste, including old chemicals lingering in garages, new products appearing in the marketplace, changing waste handling rules, and exploding lithium batteries in waste and recycling facilities. To address these dynamics, we need to champion the cause of keeping hazardous waste secure and out of our waterways and environment. Local jurisdictions have risen to meet this challenge by pushing forward with new efforts, campaigns, and strategies by creating innovative approaches and pushing for longer-term solutions to the problems faced in the HHW universe. More than 300 individuals from federal, state, and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses are expected to come together at the Symposium, including recycling coordinators and others who are involved in used oil recycling and household hazardous waste programs in California, to share what they have discovered on resource conservation and the appropriate management of problematic waste streams. 
The training sessions will focus on daily mechanisms to help your programs run smoothly, while the main symposium sessions will explore new ideas, tools, policy directions, and provide insights into new challenges on the horizon.
Training will be available March 23-25, 2020, while the Symposium will be held March 24-27, 2020.
Register for the event to be held at the Sacramento DoubleTree Hotel.


BioCycle Connect West 2020

As of 3/12, the conference is cancelled/postponed following statewide limitation on large gatherings. We are investigating offering conference sessions and Deep Dives virtually. Thank you for your support and patience as we all navigate this difficult time together.
BioCycle Connect West 2020 Conference in Sacramento, California will bring experts together to share best-practices in building best-in-class organics recycling programs. The conference will address: local and state policies, food waste collection, processing infrastructure, compost and digestate markets, and connections between organics recycling and Climate Change.
NEW! Deep Dive Discussions on March 31 and April 1. Both days consists of five different Deep Dives, which are small group peer-to-peer discussions limited to 30 participants. A Subject Matter Expert leads off with an overview, followed by Q&A and a facilitated conversation.
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Sacramento
March 30 – April 2, 2020 
Register for the Conference.


This Way to Sustainability Conference: Resiliency in a Changing World - March 26-28

Given recent travel restrictions and public health precautions, we have made the decision to move the conference to an entirely online format. The conference will still happen on the days and times scheduled but will be using the online format Zoom for presentations.  
We are in the early stages of this transition.  More information will be posted here as it is available. 
Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at CSU, Chico will host the 15th Annual 'This Way to Sustainability' (TWTS) Conference, a nationally recognized, student-run conference focusing on challenges, ideas, solutions, and resiliency in planning our sustainable future. The conference hosts 1,400 participants each year with a variety of respected professionals speaking on the many aspects of sustainability. The goal of the conference is to educate students, staff and faculty, and community members; providing attendees an opportunity to network, discuss, and become more aware of pertinent environmental and social issues we all face.
Register for the free conference. 


Notice of Funds Available: Beverage Container Redemption Pilot Project Grant Program (2019-20)

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) administers a program to provide opportunities for California local government and recycling center operators to improve redemption opportunities for eligible beverage containers and increase recycling rates in unserved convenience zones statewide.
Applications to be submitted through January 1, 2022. 


Request for Proposals: Recycled Materials Market Development

MRC is searching for creative and innovative proposals to develop hard-to-recycle mattress components in new or reformulated applications and/or products.
This is an open-ended request for proposals. Therefore, prospective researchers are free to submit preproposal applications any time during the 2020 calendar year. If the project is selected to move beyond
the pre-proposal phase, research teams will be asked to submit a full proposal within 6 weeks after
notification. All projects must be completed within one year of research contract execution.
Learn more on their website.


California Drug Take-back Program

The California Drug Take-Back Program is funded by California Department of Health Care Services' MAT Expansion Project and developed and administered in partnership with the California Product Stewardship Council.  The program's goal is to increase the disposal of unwanted medicines across the state of California. Collection bins will be placed throughout the state for the express purpose of disposing unwanted medicines.  This program will expand options for the public to safely discard unwanted medicines with a statewide network of take-back receptacles (bins).

Applications are now being accepted for free bins with paid disposal through August 2020. The program also includes professional installation of the bin in your facility.  The bins can remain on the property of the host location beyond the duration of the grant. Pharmacies, hospitals, and law enforcement departments interested in participating in this program and receiving a free bin may complete the application here.

Bins can accept both controlled and non-controlled medications for people and pets. They will be placed across California at Drug Enforcement Agency-approved locations, including California-licensed pharmacies, hospitals with pharmacies, and law enforcement departments. Grant funds will cover the cost of the drug take-back bins, professional installation of the bins, disposal services through August 2020, technical assistance, and promotion of the bin location throughout the duration of the project.