Dec 5 - Alameda Co. Contemplates Mandatory Recycling and Composting, Plastic Bag Ban


The Alameda County Waste Management Authority ( has proposed a mandatory recycling and composting ordinance for the county, requiring collection of recyclable and food scraps by businesses and multi-family properties.

The ordinance would apply to all 17 county jurisdictions’ 1.5 million residents and has the potential to divert as much as 700,000 tons of paper, bottles, other recyclables and compostables from area landfills.

The goal of the program, which would be rolled out in two phases, is to divert 90% of waste from landfills by 2020. Currently, the county diverts 69% of its waste.

CAW was at the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) hearing last month, in support of this ordinance because it builds on AB 341 (Chesbro), by expanding the applicability of the commercial recycling program to include organics and applies to smaller generators.

The second proposed ordinance heard at the EIR hearing prohibits distribution of single-use plastic bags for large retailers throughout the county. A 10 cent minimum price requirement would be required for single-use paper bags or reusable bags.

The first reading for the mandatory recycling ordinance and the single-use bag ordinance is scheduled for December 14. Draft ordinance language is available for both the recycling and bag ordinances.

Read the press release.

Take action in support of the single-use bag ordinance here.


(photo credit: L. Iversen, SF Chronicle)