Regulations & Compliance
StopWaste can help Alameda County businesses, non-profits and institutions stay informed about current landfill bans, policies and ordinances related to proper collection and recycling of resources and hazardous wastes. Our goal is to provide links to current information so that you can operate your organization most efficiently.
Some regulations apply within Alameda County, others apply only to operations within certain cities, and some affect all commercial accounts within California.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance
California State law, SB 1383, aims to keep food and other compostable materials ("organics") out of landfills to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. In Alameda County, the law is implemented and enforced under the Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance. Read more.
Plant Debris Landfill Ban
Alameda County law prohibits disposal of plant debris in county landfills. ACWMA Plant Debris Landfill Ban Ordinance 2008-01 (available for download here) requires landscape professionals, residents and businesses to separate all plant debris from garbage. Those subscribing to 4 or more cubic yards of weekly on-site garbage service must place plant debris in the designated “organics” bin, and those who haul to their local facility must deposit plant debris in the disposal facility’s designated “clean green” area. Plant debris includes grass, leaves, shrubbery, vines and tree branches.
This law applies to any person or organization generating significant amounts of plant debris that hauls the material to Alameda County disposal facilities or places the material in bins for collection, including:
- Commercial and institutional (e.g. colleges, hospitals, park districts, golf courses) customers subscribing to 4 or more cubic yards of weekly solid waste collection service.
- Landscapers and gardeners
The Plant Debris Landfill Ban Ordinance covers all cities and unincorporated areas in Alameda County.
Reusable Bag Ordinance
The Reusable Bag Ordinance, effective January 1, 2013, prohibits free distribution of single-use bags at check out in Alameda County stores that sell packaged food. For more information, visit the Reusable Bag Ordinance website.
Alameda County Waste Management Authority Ordinance 2009-01 established procedures and reporting requirements for the collection of the countywide solid waste facility fee, which is applied to solid waste originating in Alameda County that is deposited in landfills outside the county. For more information, visit the Ordinance 2009-01, Facility Fee web pages.
Household Hazardous Waste Ordinance
In 2014, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority Board adopted a fee capped at $9.55 per year per residential unit to support the household hazardous waste (HHW) program for Alameda County. On September 25, 2019, the WMA amended the fee (via ordinance), setting the fee at $6.64 per year per residential unit through June 30, 2024, at which point the fee may be adjusted (raised or lowered) based on a financial analysis. More information about the HHW Ordinance and fee is available here.
Some cities within Alameda County have adopted additional ordinances. Click the following links for more information:
- Construction and Demolition (C&D) ordinances
- Green building policies
- Polystyrene (Styrofoam) food ware ordinances
Banned From the Trash
Did you know that hazardous wastes and universal wastes are also banned from the trash? Items such as lights, batteries, CRT and LCD monitors, mercury-containing products, paint and solvents, chemicals, certain building materials, many automobile-related products and more should be disposed at authorized disposal sites. Learn what hazardous and universal wastes are banned from the trash, and how to dispose of them property at the Department of Toxic Substances Control website.
There is a new drop-in program for all Alameda County businesses that accepts: latex paint, aerosol cans, fluorescent lamps, and household batteries.
If your business qualifies as a “small quantity generator” you may be eligible for a service to safely dispose of leftover hazardous materials at affordable rates. Learn more about Alameda County Small Business Hazardous Waste Disposal Services.