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Agency Update - Spring 2024

Compost Happens! Video Premiere

Public education on composting is vital for SB 1383 to achieve its aim of reducing emissions that contribute to climate change by diverting food scraps and other compostable materials from landfills for composting. In addition to requiring residents and businesses to properly sort organic waste, this state law requires cities and counties to purchase products, like compost, made from recovered organic waste to meet annual procurement targets. These products can be used directly or given away. Many cities in the county have launched compost hubs to make compost more accessible to residents for gardening and growing food.

To help build Alameda County’s understanding of the value of making and using compost, our Agency has been producing educational materials for dissemination. In our latest video, Compost Happens! In Alameda County, we showcase the various ways in which our neighbors throughout the county create and use this valuable resource. This film is a successor to our award-winning film Do The Rot Thing which played a pivotal role in extending home composting and waste reduction education to residents across the county in the 90s and 2000s.

To help build Alameda County’s understanding of the value of making and using compost, our Agency has been producing educational materials for dissemination. In our latest video, Compost Happens! In Alameda County, we showcase the various ways in which our neighbors throughout the county create and use this valuable resource. This film is a successor to our award-winning film Do The Rot Thing which played a pivotal role in extending home composting and waste reduction education to residents across the county in the 90s and 2000s.

Recovering School Food

Schools often have surplus food from their kitchens before the holiday season. However, starting from January 1, 2024, state law SB 1383 mandates that schools donate all surplus food to non-profit organizations to reduce food waste and address food insecurity. The Agency keeps schools informed on requirements and has since sent compliance letters to all 18 districts. To support school districts with the implementation of donation programs, the Agency has developed many resources to bring schools into compliance, such as the Holiday Break Donation Guide. A pilot holiday food donation program can allow schools to test their procedures, evaluate their chosen non-profit partner, and test their donation program before implementing it year-round. This guide provides best practices from work in Fremont, Livermore Valley Joint, and Oakland Unified School Districts with guidance from the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health.

Movement on AB 2346 to Amend Procurement Requirements

This legislative cycle, the Agency is sponsoring a new bill designed to provide additional pathways for local governments to meet the SB 1383 procurement requirements. The bill AB 2346, authored by Assembly Member Lee, would provide adjustments to address the SB 1383 procurement challenges that our jurisdictions face like high costs and limited flexibility. Currently, SB 1383 procurement requirements do not match well with counties like Alameda County that already have mature markets for recycled organic materials in place, making our ability to scale up procurement much more difficult than for regions of the state where the market is nascent. Over the past year, we’ve spearheaded and led the development of the bill and worked closely with many partners in the region, including counties, agencies, compost providers, and haulers, and in coordination with CalRecycle. The bill passed unanimously in its first hearing committee in Sacramento on April 8.
 

Employee Spotlight

Adrienne Ramirez

Management Analyst

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