Monthly Topic Briefs
Updates on current issues and projects.
Each year, the Agency leads an innovative StopWaste Environmental Educator Training, known as SWEET, for Alameda County residents, community leaders, and city staff to learn how to become educators in their communities on sustainable practices. Community education and outreach is a critical component of StopWaste’s efforts to engage local residents on taking action to reduce waste.
Since 2000, StopWaste has recognized dozens of businesses for exemplary waste reduction practices as part of its Business Efficiency Awards. In 2019, StopWaste is recognizing six Alameda County businesses who stand out in their efforts to help the county achieve its waste reduction and energy efficiency goals.
Through our sustainable landscaping and gardening program, StopWaste has long promoted the benefits of compost as a way to reduce organic waste while creating healthy soils and saving water. Now scientists are recognizing compost as a tool to fight climate change.
StopWaste’s member agencies are working towards achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and beyond. Through their climate action plans, local governments are increasingly addressing the upstream emissions from the production of goods used locally but produced elsewhere.
Endorsing a circular economy approach to waste reduction means moving away from recycling as the answer to managing materials, and moving to reusable items instead of single use and/or recyclable items. Reuse is considered “upcycling,” or extending the life of an item in its same form with minimal processing.
Meal kits include pre-portioned and sometimes partially prepared food ingredients and recipes to prepare home cooked meals. The kits are typically mailed once a week to subscribers, or purchased from grocery stores, packaged in a box with basic instructions on how to turn them into different meals, and ice packs to keep it all cold.
Electrification, also known as fuel-substitution or fuel-switching, is changing energy uses in our buildings from gas to electricity. StopWaste, via its Energy Council, is pursuing a number of electrification initiatives to help the region reduce greenhouse gas emissions by moving away from fossil fuels.
In an effort to mitigate plastic pollution and reduce the amount of single-use plastic, California lawmakers recently passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1884, which bans full-service restaurants from offering single-use plastic straws unless requested by the customer. The law, which will take effect January 1, 2019, calls for fines on establishments beginning with the third violation.
The issues related to pollution from single-use plastics are complex and lack a straightforward solution. These items, especially food ware such as cups, lids, straws, utensils, takeout containers, and bags, often end up as litter where they pollute marine environments.