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StopWaste Milestones: 1976-2016

Our work began in 1976 with the founding of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority. In 1990, Alameda County voters overwhelmingly approved the Measure D ballot initiative that created the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, a specialized arm of the Waste Management Authority. At that time, only 14 percent of discarded materials were diverted from the county’s landfills.

We’ve come a long way since then. Alameda County now has one of the largest food scrap recycling programs in the county. Plant debris is banned from landfills, and construction and demolition debris accounts for only 12 percent of the county’s waste stream, down from 21 percent in 2010.

But there’s still a long way to go. With the adoption of a new Strategic Plan in 2010, StopWaste has intensified its efforts on behalf of Alameda County residents, businesses, schools and public agencies. Together, we’re working to achieve an ambitious long-term goal:

By 2020, less than 10 percent of what winds up in Alameda County’s landfills will be readily recyclable or compostable.

As we work toward this goal, it’s worth taking a look back at some of the initiatives that have made Alameda County a national leader in waste prevention and recycling:

2016 Countywide reusable bag ordinance expanded to apply to all stores and restaurants in the County.  
2014 Household Hazardous Waste Program expands days, hours and adds public events to make drop-off easier for Alameda County residents.  
2014 StopWaste building awarded LEED-EB v4 Platinum for Operations & Maintenance - the first v4 Platinum certification in the world.  

Countywide reusable bag ordinance prohibits free distribution of single-use bags in about 1,900 stores that sell packaged food. 


Mandatory recycling expands to include larger businesses and multifamily buildings in most parts of the county. 

2012 StopWaste's Board approves creation of the Energy Council, a joint powers authority committed to energy efficiency and clean energy.  
2011 Ready Set Recycle is launched, an innovative campaign and contest that uses recognition, rewards and reinforcement to help  make proper sorting the norm.   

Strategic Plan is adopted with a new waste diversion goal: by 2020, less than 10 percent of what winds up in Alameda County’s landfills will be readily recyclable or compostable. 


Plant Debris Landfill Ban prohibits grass cuttings, tree trimmings and other plant waste from disposal in county landfills. Processing facilities recycle local plant debris into compost to enrich soils.

2009 Alameda County and all 14 cities participate in the new Green Packages initiative to green existing buildings and landscapes.  
2007 StopWaste's office is the first renovated building in the country to earn LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council.  

Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening program gets off the ground, providing education, technical assistance and other resources to help residents, businesses and cities create environmentally sound landscapes and gardens.


irecycle @ school! program kicks off, bringing technical assistance, educational resources, teacher training, and service-learning projects to the county’s 350 public schools


Curbside residential food scrap recycling begins in many of the county’s cities. Today, the county has one of the largest food scrap recycling programs in the country.


Green Building in Alameda County program launches, with the goal of motivating residentscities, property owners and the building industry to reduce construction waste and choose recycled-content building products. 


County’s first comprehensive source reduction and recycling plan adopted. Updated in 2011, the report describes plans for achieving the county-mandated 75 percent and beyond diversion goal. 


StopWaste Business Partnership starts up, offering recycling and waste prevention assistance to businesses and institutions. 


Household hazardous waste program is created to give residents a convenient way to safely dispose of pesticides, cleaners and other potentially toxic household waste.


Composting at home is promoted to reduce the volume of plant trimmings and food scraps sent to the county’s landfills.


Alameda County voters overwhelming approved Measure D, the Alameda County Waste Reduction and Recycling Act, with the ambitious goal of reducing waste by 75 percent by 2010.


Alameda County Waste Management Authority is formed to provide waste management planning and programs in Alameda County.



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