Skip to main content

Request For Qualifications: Reusable Foodware Support and Services

Release Date: October 21, 2021

The Nov 29, 2021, deadline for the initial review process has passed, but applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the Agency has established a qualified list of service providers.

For submittal requirements, please download the document using the link above.

The purpose of this request for qualifications (RFQ) is to identify providers of reusable foodware solutions to catalyze and launch pilot projects, as well as providers of technical assistance services to guide and support food service operators switching from single use to reusable foodware. StopWaste’s growing list of approved providers resulting from this process can be viewed here.

The list serves as a resource for applicants to StopWaste’s Reusable Foodware Pilot Project Grants looking to partner with qualified providers of reusable foodware systems and services. 

StopWaste is requesting responses from the following: 
  1. Businesses, nonprofits, and individuals that can provide and implement services for establishments serving food in Alameda County that enable a transition to reusable food service ware and eliminate single-use food service ware for both dine-in and takeout dining.  
  2. Organizations and individuals that can provide technical assistance (TA) services to help food establishments make the switch to reusable foodware for on-site dining. Qualified respondents will be able to demonstrate expertise and capacity to target and engage food service establishments in diverse communities throughout the county to reduce single-use food service ware and facilitate a transition to reusable alternatives. 

Programmatic context 

Single-use food service ware items, often made from non-recyclable plastic, compostable plastic, or fiber, are prevalent in daily life and result in significant impacts to human health and the environment. Single-use foodware is resource-intensive to produce, has a short useful life,and then has considerable downstream costs and impacts associated with its proper management and disposal.  

Reusable foodware has the potential to significantly reduce consumption of single-use foodware, and public agencies, businesses and nonprofits alike are launching innovative policies, services, and solutions to reduce consumption of single-use items in the food service sector. StopWaste aims to develop local infrastructure and overall capacity for reusables in Alameda County so that these services are more accessible and convenient to businesses and consumers—a step that is  critical to building momentum in this space.  

Frequently Asked Questions about the RFQ

1. Is this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) an application for funding?

This RFQ is not an application for funding; we will use it to build a list of pre-approved, qualified providers of the reusable foodware services listed in the RFQ. Specific projects have not yet been identified, but are projected to be informed by the responses received to this RFQ and selected and funded through a grant solicitation process starting in early 2022.

2. Do you have a template or online form to fill out for submission, and how long should my response be?

We don’t have a template or required format for the response, and the response need not be long. A word document, PDF or slide deck providing an overview of the solutions, with links to your website is an acceptable approach.

3. Does my organization need to meet the insurance requirements listed on page 8 of the RFQ before we submit a response?

The insurance requirements apply to any organization or individual accepting funds from StopWaste, including nonprofits. However, in cases where a recipient organization does not have insurance, they sometimes build this cost into their proposal, so that the funding can cover the additional cost of meeting the insurance requirement. It is also worth noting that this RFQ is not an application for funding; we will use it to build a qualified list of service providers. So, no insurance would be required until such time as the organization applied for and was selected to receive a grant to implement a specific pilot project.

4. Do I have to submit project ideas to be considered as a qualified applicant? If I do have pilot ideas, is there a way to get feedback on their viability before I submit an application?

While we don't require applicants to include specific pilot ideas to be considered in this RFQ process, we do welcome them and encourage applicants to reach out to discuss proposal ideas, please contact Ben Duggan at

5. Is the professional fee schedule referenced in the RFQ solely related to consulting services, or are you looking for cost / prices for reusable cups & containers?

The professional fee schedule includes estimated personnel expenses or billing rates for key employees that would be involved in designing, implementing and overseeing a pilot project. Non-personnel expenses, such as prices for equipment like reusable cups and containers or monthly service costs can be included in the example projects provided in your response to the RFQ.

6. What is meant by “upstream infrastructure” in the evaluation criteria (Appendix B)?

Upstream infrastructure refers to the systems, services, and equipment that enable prevention of waste before it is created. In the context of reusable foodware, this includes things like mobile dishwashing services that provide reusable cups for events as an alternative to disposable cups, or reusable foodware services that provide reusable to-go containers to replace disposables. In contrast, an example of downstream activity is using single-use compostable foodware and putting it in the green bin with foodscraps.

7. How will submittals be evaluated and what is the selection process?

Staff will evaluate a number of factors when considering which responses are qualified to participate in a proposal, including the following questions:

  • Does the respondent seem to have adequate capacity, have they demonstrated adequate experience and readiness to implement the proposal?
  • Is the response clear and comprehensible? Are the qualifications appropriate and responsive to the needs of the proposal?
  • Does the concept improve/create upstream infrastructure?
  • Does the concept propose partnerships with our Member Agencies and other potential partners (e.g., BIDs, food businesses)? Is there opportunity to collaborate? Does it complement or duplicate existing Agency programs?
  • Is the applicant in a unique position to influence policy, markets, or behavior with this proposal? Does the concept have the potential to scale up beyond the initial pilot?; does it experiment with a new concept/idea? Does it provide a model for others?
  • More information about the evaluation criteria can be found in Appendix B of the RFQ.