Jan 26 - Alameda County Passes Recycling and Plastic Bag Ordinances


In addition to unanimously adopting a single-use bag ordinance yesterday afternoon, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (StopWaste.org) also passed a mandatory recycling ordinance. The ordinance includes businesses generating 4 cubic yards of waste or more per week and multifamily complexes with 5 or more units.

According to the Oakland North, StopWaste executive director Gary Wolff noted that 100,000 tons of diverted waste creates 200 jobs and praised the ordinances:

"It’s rare that you get a win-win for both the environment and the economy, and this is that."

The mandatory recycling ordinance goes beyond the statewide commercial recycling requirements by applying the program to a larger number of businesses and by phasing in mandatory commercial food scrap recycling. The ordinance goes into effect on July 1, 2012, but organics recycling won’t be mandatory until July 1, 2014.

CAW was there testifying in support for both ordinances. CAW Legislative Coordinator Nick Lapis commented on StopWaste’s bag ordinance impact towards a statewide bag ban:

"This will help lay out where the state should go. Adding 15 jurisdictions will have a big effect statewide, in terms of legislation."

Thirty nine cities and counties in our state are now covered under a single-use bag ordinance--reaching 16% of the state's population. CAW expects this to increase by a minimum of 10% by the end of the year. Read more about the single-use bag ordinance on yesterday’s blog.