Managing waste wisely leads to a more sustainable Alameda and promote a healthier – and greener – lifestyle. Since the beginning of 2012, Alameda County adopted two historic ordinances to reduce waste. The first ordinance requires recycling of high market-value materials from larger businesses and multi-family properties. The second ordinance prohibits free distribution of single-use bags at check out in stores that sell packaged food. Specific industries are also stepping up. Yellow Pages is taking a leading role in reducing paper use by producing smaller books and providing an easy-to-use portal for individuals to limit or opt out of delivery of Yellow Pages directories to their homes.
As of July 1, 2012, businesses generating four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week, and multi-family owners/managers (five units or more), will be required to obtain a level of recycling service adequate for the amount of recyclables they generate. As of January 1, 2013 the single-use bag ordinance will help reduce the number of bags going to landfill and decrease the problems caused by plastic bags at recycling processing centers and landfills. The ordinance bans single-use bags at check out at retailers selling packaged food countywide. Recycled content paper or reusable bags may be provided but only if the retailer charges a minimum price of $0.10 per bag.
I represent Alameda on Stopwaste.org. On behalf of my constituents in Alameda County, I also ask our community go paperless through digital options. Yellow Pages publishers are providing the option for customers to opt-out of receiving directories through www.YellowPagesOptOut.com. When consumers use this site to customize their household delivery, it helps ensure distributors are only delivering directories to residents that want them. Customers can easily stop or reduce directory delivery to their homes through a few clicks at that site.
Together, we can reduce waste and reuse our resources for a more sustainable Alameda.