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StopWaste Milestones: 1976-2022

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. 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 country. 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.

There’s still a long way to go.The Board adopted guiding principles in 2020 that will be used to set priorities through 2023 to focus our efforts to where we can achieve the greatest results in support of our mission, stakeholders, and member agencies, prioritizing equity and partnerships with an emphasis on waste prevention over management of discards.

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.

2022 State law SB 1383 goes into effect to reduce methane emissions by mandating that organics be kept out of landfill and edible food be recovered and donated. 
2021 StopWaste adopts new Aims and Guiding Principles centering equity and prioritizing partnerships, regenerative solutions, and capacity building. 
2020 Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance for businesses and multifamily buildings in effect across all jurisdictions.  
2020 StopWaste's building becomes first public building in California to receive Fitwel's 2-Start Certification for promoting employee health and well-being.   
2019 Began implementation of Carbon Farming Plan on Agency's rangeland property in partnership with the Alameda County Resource Conservation District. The partnership marks the first of its kind to take place in the Bay Area.   
2019 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy honors Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) Multifamily program, managed by StopWaste, with an Exemplary Program Award as one of America’s outstanding energy efficiency programs.   
2018 Permanent Conservation Easement established on Agency's Property, dedicates 160 acres in the Altamont Hills to protect and preserve natural wildlife.   
2017 Launched K-12 school food share and donation program, reducing wasted food in cafeterias and helping to feed people in need.   
2017 Countywide expanded reusable bag ordinance goes into effect, applies to all stores and restaurants in the County.  
2016 CalEPA honored StopWaste with a Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for its multi-step environmental education program.   
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.  
2013 StopWaste's Board approves creation of the Energy Council, a joint powers authority committed to energy efficiency and clean energy.  
2012 Countywide reusable bag ordinance prohibits free distribution of single-use bags in about 1,300 stores that sell packaged food and liquor.   

Mandatory recycling adopted for businesses and multifamily buildings in most parts of the county. 

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. In 2011, it is updated with 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. 

1995 Education Center at Davis Street opens to provide tours to schools in partnership with Waste Management, Inc.   

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.

1990 ACWMA operates as separate agency from County Planning when it assumes responsibility for the CoIWMP and begins collecting fees to fund programs.  
1989 California Legislature passes AB939 which requires every city in California to reduce garbage to landfill by 25% by 1995 and 50% by 2000.   

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