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Monthly Topic Briefs

Updates on current issues and projects.

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    A new California State law, SB 1383, aims to keep food and other compostable materials out of landfills to reduce methane emissions that contribute to climate change. An important requirement of the law is that food generating businesses must recover surplus edible food that would otherwise be disposed of and donate it to feed people.

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    In 2021 the California Legislature passed AB 1276 into law, expanding the prior “straws on request only” law to also now include single-use cutlery, condiment packs and chopsticks. Affected entities include all retail food operations as well as food delivery platforms. The purpose of AB 1276 is to reduce excess packaging and reduce food waste from unwanted condiment packs.

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    A new California State law, SB 1383, aims to keep food and plant materials out of landfills to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change (food scraps emit more methane than any other material in the landfill). Under the law residents must properly sort recyclable and compostable materials into the appropriate containers.

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    In 2017, StopWaste began working with the Alameda County Resource Conservation District and later additional partners (The Natural Resource Conservation Service and UC Merced) to add to the body of knowledge on how carbon farming can fight climate change through the application of compost on range lands.

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    Historically, residents in multifamily buildings have faced barriers to improving their homes. In many cases, buildings are not maintained, and retrofits are long overdue. To address this challenge, StopWaste is working with local partners to implement energy efficiency projects in multifamily properties that also improve resident comfort, safety and health.

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    For the past decade, StopWaste has been strengthening our partnerships with food recovery organizations to better understand their needs. As part of this effort, we convene the Alameda County Food Recovery Network, which includes a wide range of food recovery organizations, grantees, and other community groups such as faith-based organizations and housing agencies.

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    A great place to look for water savings year round is outdoors in the landscape. If you’re ready to move on from having a water-thirsty lawn, try sheet mulching for the least expensive and most effective way to convert your lawn to a garden.

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    Nearly half of California is in an exceptional drought, including Alameda County, which is seeing its 10th driest year on record. Outdoor landscapes can be some of the biggest water users at our homes, but simple and cost-effective approaches are available to help reduce outdoor water use and keep your garden healthy.

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    Each year, StopWaste awards local nonprofit and businesses grant funding for projects focused on repair, reuse, food waste prevention, and food donation equipment. The program engages businesses and community-based organizations to reduce waste in Alameda County while helping to address some of the County’s most pressing environmental and equity issues.

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    Medicine and prescription drugs play a critical role in our lives, but unfortunately, many consumers are unfamiliar with the proper way to discard leftover or old prescriptions. Medications and prescription drugs should not be put in the trash, recycling, or compost bin, nor flushed or poured down the drain.

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    Large items like mattresses, furniture, and appliances can be a challenge to dispose at the end of their useful life. Fortunately, all residents in single-family homes in Alameda County have at least one curbside bulky waste pickup available annually, as part of their normal waste collection services.

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