Cannabis waste includes streams of waste from every vertical of the cannabis industry: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, retail, testing laboratories, and events. Cannabis waste disposal methods and regulations vary from vertical-to-vertical and for an added layer of complexity, municipality-to-municipality. Cannabis waste recycling services in California are underutilized. Read on to learn more.

Cannabis Waste Recycling Services in California

Cannabis waste recycling isn’t required from a regulatory perspective, but certainly should be. Almost all waste that is generated by cannabis operators can be diverted from landfills, recycled, repurposed, and revitalized. GAIACA has consistently diverted well over 90% of all cannabis waste that we’ve processed away from landfills.

Simple ways to participate in cannabis waste recycling:

  1. Composting: We stand behind composting 100%. It is a sustainable solution that helps the Earth. Our goal at GAIACA is to create a closed-loop system for compostable cannabis waste. Our ultimate goal is to be able to give compost back to the original waste generators.
  2. Sorting/Depackaging: Sorting and unpackaging cannabis products ensure that components can be recycled in the traditional way. We don’t expect operators to do it for us, we do it as a part of our cannabis waste management services.

Even when you’re at home, you can still promote sustainability via the aforementioned methods. As cannabis consumers, you can recycle cannabis waste at home by unpackaging your product. You can also participate in dispensary recycling programs for more complex products like vape pens and vape pen cartridges.

Disposal of Vape Pens

Vape pens are technically e-waste (electronic waste) with a cannabis component. If you are unsure of how to dispose of your vape pens and cartridges, first consider best practices of disposing of other types of e-waste such as batteries, and TVs. You wouldn’t dispose of your expired batteries and electronics in the municipal waste bin! Vape pens and cartridges contain lithium-ion batteries, which should not be thrown in with your other waste. Please call your local e-waste recycling center to see if they accept vape pens.

Other options to consider include contacting your local dispensaries and inquiring about vape pen recycling programs and initiatives they may be supporting. In some cases, specific vape pen manufacturers have their own recycling initiatives and partner with dispensaries that carry their product to promote recycling and offer incentives to recycle.

Help support sustainability in the cannabis industry by participating in vape pen recycling initiatives. Cannabis consumers can make a huge difference. Recycling opportunities don’t stop at the end of the supply chain. They end with you!

If you are a cannabis producer interested in being part of a cannabis waste recycling initiative, reach out to us!