California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA)

California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA)

The California Resource Recovery Association is California’s statewide recycling association. It is the oldest and one of the largest non-profit recycling organizations in the United States. A 501(C)3 organization, CRRA is dedicated to achieving environmental sustainability in and beyond California through Zero Waste strategies including product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting. CRRA provides its members with resources to advance local, regional and state wide waste reduction efforts which result in critical environmental and climate protection outcomes. CRRA’s members represent all aspects of California’s reduce-reuse-recycle-compost economy. Our members work for cities, counties, municipal districts, and businesses as well as hauling companies, material processors, non-profit organizations, state agencies, and allied professionals.

Company details

915 L Street, Suite C-216 , Sacramento , California 95814 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Waste and Recycling
Market Focus:
Locally (one state or province)
Year Founded:
1974

New Vision, Mission and Principles were adopted by CRRA Board of Directors and CRRA membership in December 2009

CRRA Vision
Achieve environmental sustainability in and beyond California through Zero Waste strategies including product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting.

CRRA Mission
Provide CRRA members with resources to advance local, regional and statewide waste reduction efforts which result in critical environmental and climate protection outcomes.

CRRA Principles

Reduce Demand on Resources
The one-way extraction and use of virgin resources for products and packaging that are discarded to landfills or incinerators is a primary cause of global resource depletion and associated environmental, climate and social problems, and is fundamentally unsustainable.

Stop Enabling Waste
Landfills, incinerators and high-temperature waste processing facilities enable and propagate the system of one-way use of materials, remove finite resources from the economy, and act as public subsidies for wasteful product design.

Manage Materials, Not Waste
Zero Waste is a policy framework which places discarded materials in the context of global resource depletion. Product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting significantly reduce the demand on extraction and use of virgin resources, and deliver manifold environmental, climate and economic benefits beyond mere landfill diversion. Preserving landfill capacity and reducing landfill gas emissions is just the start of the environmental and climate benefits of these activities. The more profound benefits are critical to the national discussion on ecological and economic priorities.

Product Stewardship
Increasingly complex, toxic and over-packaged products constitute a growing portion of the discard stream managed by local governments, and is placing demands and liabilities on municipal disposal systems for which they are not designed or intended. Product Stewardship - shifting the fiscal responsibility for 'cradle to cradle' management of products from local government to the producers of the products - reduces waste through product re-design. It incentivizes resource-efficient products, packaging and logistics, and reduces net system costs.

Preserve Embodied Energy and Value
Maximizing the recovery, re-use, and recycling of products in as whole and as useful a form as possible preserves more of the embodied energy used to produce and deliver them. This includes organic discards treatment processes which preserve the ability of the material to be used as soil amendment.

Local Utilization of Resources
Furnishing as many of our material needs as possible from the local flow of recovered resources supports local economic development and resiliency, and reduces the environmental and climate impacts of longer supply chains. This is particularly true of basic materials such as compostable organic materials which are essential to local soil replenishment, and concrete, asphalt and other construction and demolition debris, which are essential to sustainable infrastructure and redevelopment.

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CRRA as we know it today had its humble beginning at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 1972. Rick Anthony and Michael Huls worked together at the CSULB recycling center when it was founded on Earth Day 1970.

CRRA as we know it today had its humble beginning at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 1972. Rick Anthony and Michael Huls worked together at the CSULB recycling center when it was founded on Earth Day 1970.

At the same time, there was activity in San Francisco and Berkeley at the Ecology Center. The first recycling conference was held at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco in 1972 and was organized by Dick and Kathy Evans from the Berkeley Ecology Center. With activity in Northern and Southern California, it became a natural fit to put the two organizations together to form one unified CRRA. This group officially formed in 1974 and then debuted in Santa Barbara in 1976 for the First CRRA Conference. There were key stakeholders invited to the conference including industry, government, and grass roots recyclers who discussed the importance of community recycling and the need for an organization representing its interests. A plan was developed for statewide implementation of an outreach campaign, conferences, and activities designed to bring recycling back into the forefront of sanitation, public works, and city planning. (At the time it was discovered that recycling pre-existed but community recycling networks had been largely dismantled in every municipality in the rush to simply landfill discards). It was obvious at this meeting that not all stakeholders were keen on the idea. Attendees were scolded 'You will never get more than 2% diversion through recycling' by County of Los Angeles Sanitation Districts personnel (but today we are setting zero waste goals!). The first Board had 6 members, from the North Margaret Gainer (Arcata), Kathy Evans (Berkeley) and Cliff Humpreys (Modesto), and from the south Hal Conklin (Santa Barbara), Rick Anthony (Long Beach), and Gary Peterson (Pacific Palisades).

The CRRA outreach campaign began with development of a statewide newspaper called Resource News that was distributed to 5,000 people around the state and nationally, editorializing on burning issues of the day. The first issue was published in 1974 with content provided by the organizational principals and edited by Michael Huls. The publication was underwritten through the in-kind donation of paper by Garden State Paper Company, in-kind research provided by SCS Engineers, and funding provided by Allan Company (Gordon Young) for printing and mailing. This publication existed until about 1978 when it was replaced by a smaller journal called RecycleScene. At that point, the CRRA was firmly established.