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Agency Update - Spring 2023

New Disposable Food Service Ware Reduction and Reuse Ordinance

We developed the StopWaste Model Ordinance for Disposable Food Service Ware Reduction and Reuse—a menu of policy options for Cities in Alameda County to consider adopting as part of their efforts to address single-use plastics and food packaging waste issues. 

The primary goal of the model ordinance is to reduce the demand for and consumption of problematic single-use foodware items, such as plastic and paper cups, plates, and utensils, that contribute to litter/ocean pollution, contaminate compost and recycling collection programs, and contribute to consumption-related greenhouse gas emissions.

It incorporates concepts and lessons learned from policies enacted in Alameda County and beyond, and introduces some new approaches designed to advance progress and further incentivize reuse. The model ordinance serves as an additional strategy to help develop local infrastructure for reusable foodware. 

StopWaste Celebrates Earth Day All Month Long

This year, we are spotlighting city and community partner events to take action and work together towards a more resilient environment. Explore our calendar of events to partake in celebrations leading up to, on Earth Day, and after, or try a StopWaste tip and learn how to compost, reduce wasted food, and electrify your home. 

Grantee Spotlight: Goodness Village

Goodness Village is the first grantee to be awarded a Community Food System grant. Located in Livermore, Goodness Village is a non-profit tiny home community for people transitioning out of chronic homelessness, and has a holistic approach to the many challenges unhoused community members face. In addition to providing housing services, the organization launched Feeding Goodness, a project that uses surplus food not only to offset the cost of feeding its residents but also to provide the ingredients for a culinary training program and enterprise. Moving forward, Goodness Village plans to expand to jams, preserves, and other specialty foods that residents can sell to the larger Tri-Valley community, at farmer markets, with proceeds coming back to support Goodness Village. 

The new Community Food System grant funds community-rooted and driven projects that address gaps or shortfalls of the current industrial food system. Projects center on the implementation of innovative multi-benefit practices that provide long-term strategies to improve food access, address equity, economic opportunities, and community health. 

New Energy Rebate Structure

The Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements program, administered by StopWaste, introduced a redesigned incentive structure at the start of this year. The new incentives include a base rate of $500 and with significant adders for electrification measures that replace natural gas equipment with efficient electric equipment. Properties can also qualify for location-based adders for residents experiencing disproportionate health, heat, and housing burdens. 

The new rebates aim to align the program with equity goals set by the California Public Utility Commission, the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, and StopWaste by providing additional funding to prioritize in-unit upgrades that will improve resident health and safety while lowering utility bills. Under the revised structure, participating properties can receive rebates of $500-$6,000+ per unit.

Employee Spotlight

Annalisa Belliss

Program Manager

Annalisa Belliss joined StopWaste in 2013 as a Sustainability Associate, and joined the Food Waste Reduction team as Program Services Specialist in 2017. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. 

What do you do at StopWaste?  
The short version—I help support businesses with complying with the new state law and specifically help businesses who have to donate their edible surplus food and work with them to help prevent it in the first place.
The long version—I work on the Food Waste Reduction team and my role has been evolving. Many may not know, but I was hired in 2013 and first served as a Sustainability Associate on the Schools team for four years, and it has now been six years as part of the Food Waste Reduction team, and currently serve as Senior Program Services Specialist. Historically, I’ve focused on schools, with food waste reduction initiatives like food share tables, school food donations, and continue to support schools with complying with SB 1383 edible food recovery requirements. In addition, I support any work that’s business-facing that includes food waste reduction or recovery of surplus food for donation. I also support our work with the Alameda County Food Recovery Network that we’ve hosted for two years now, and manage grants. Now, what I’m moving toward in my work is looking at how we can create and support a vision in the county for sustainable food systems.
How has working at StopWaste impacted you? 
Beyond the obvious of making me more mindful of all of our individual decisions, it's also made me more aware of the systemic problems. At the Agency, we've talked a lot about how far we can go in achieving our goals by messaging to the public about individual action. It’s part of the work, but there are solutions beyond that daily individual action that could really change our greater systems. I feel like working at StopWaste has really helped me think more about these systems that we're operating within and has made me think about how we as an agency can help impact that greater system because that's really going to get us to the bigger changes we need to see. 

Do you have a life motto that you live by? 
I have this quote I keep on my desk: "The best way to predict the future is to create it," by Dennis Gabor. That one has stuck with me so much over the years, and especially now as the Agency is coming to this point where we’re really shifting the way that we think about our work and vision for the future. That's what I'm really excited about for the work that I do. I feel I have a part in helping envision the future that we want to create. And it's happening right now as we speak every day. That's how you inch closer to the future. So being mindful of that is really powerful.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?  
I have a lot of hobbies. I spend a lot of time trying to decide what to do because I have too many things I like to do, but my recent hobbies include gardening, and I've taken up roller skating. Roller skating is one I’ve been meaning to do more, but I haven't because it's been raining so much. I also love dancing, going to live music and concerts, and traveling. I get inspired by the thrill of doing something new and I think that's why I have so many hobbies. One thing I'm looking forward to starting is a ceramics class, I've always wanted to do that, and I'm finally going to do it so, that might be added to my list of hobbies.