Feb 21 - Alameda City Discusses Opt-Out of Recycling and Bag Ordinances

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Tonight the Alameda City Council discusses opting out of two recycling and waste-reduction ordinances.

Last month, the Alameda County Waste Management Agency (Stopwaste.org) adopted a mandatory recycling ordinance and a single-use bag ordinance for unincorporated Alameda County and the 14 incorporated cities. Local jurisdictions can opt out of the ordinances by March 2, 2012, and can opt in again at any time. Read more about the ordinances here.

See the Agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting on the City’s website (Agenda item 6F).

Why does the City want to opt out? According to agenda documents, the City adopted a Zero Waste Plan in October of 2010. The City’s plan identified implementation dates for a mandatory recycling ordinance by 2012 and bans on problem products like plastic bags starting in 2014.

For the bag ordinance, staff wants to hold public meetings and get community feedback before implementation. They are recommending an opt-out of a bag ban until additional outreach to the community has been made, after which the City can then opt back in.

The City Council may choose to follow these recommendations, or it can decide that enough outreach has been conducted by Stopwaste.org and remain covered under the single-use bag ordinance.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, opting in at a later date could make it harder on the City’s resources. StopWaste.org’s budget for outreach will not include Alameda City, or any other city that opts out. Read more here.

Hopefully the City Council will recognize the benefits of keeping the StopWaste.org ordinances. If you're available, attend the meeting in support of these ordinances tonight, or call your Council members. Contact information is available here.

Take action on other local bag bans.