Fines for Lack of Compost and Recycling Service Start January 2023
State and local law require businesses, nonprofits, institutions, schools, and multifamily properties in Alameda County to have compost (organics) and recycling collection service or an approved waiver. StopWaste will begin to issue citations for non-compliance starting in January 2023. Starting fines range from $50 to $100, depending on the size of a site’s garbage service.
State law SB 1383 and Alameda County’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance went into effect in January 2022. Since then, StopWaste—the Alameda County public agency working on behalf of cities to enforce the law—has been working in partnership with the cities of Alameda County and their solid waste service providers to alert non-compliant sites to the requirements.
This grace period to correct violations is now ending. Once an official warning letter has been sent, a site has 60 days to arrange for compost and recycling service or obtain a waiver. If no action is taken, a citation will be issued and the starting fine imposed. Fines will increase every 60 days, with fine amounts up to $500 for any sites that continue to not have the required service.
The purpose of the law is to reduce the amount of food and other compostable materials sent to landfills where they break down and release methane, a harmful greenhouse gas and leading cause of climate change. In addition to the collection service requirement for compostable and recyclable materials, sites must set up color-coded and labeled indoor bins, and sort materials correctly. Some food generating sites must also recover and donate any surplus edible food to feed people.
To learn more about the requirements, find free resources, and request free support, visit www.StopWaste.org/rules or call 510-891-6575 and leave a message for a call back.