CASE STUDIES

Alameda County, California

Alameda County is a leader in adopting and promoting green procurement policies and practices. One of its most successful and well-known achievements is the creation its StopWaste.org program. StopWaste.org was created by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board to provide environmentally sound solid waste management and resource conservation information and services for the County’s residents, businesses, schools, and local governments.

Realizing that different entities have different needs, StopWaste.org was developed with separate waste management and resource conservation portals for its residential, business, school, and local government sectors. Each of these portals highlights programs, resources and ideas for recycling and waste reduction. The local government portal includes educational fact sheets, model ordinance language, and case studies of local green building and waste reduction projects.

StopWaste.org also utilizes innovative ideas and programs to maximize waste prevention, recycling, and associated economic development opportunities. For example, qualified businesses in the county can join the StopWaste Partnership to reduce waste and operating costs, and increase efficiencies. Member businesses are provided with free technical assistance and grants to implement innovative projects.

Leading by example, the county and the StopWaste partners have set a goal of achieving at least 75% waste diversion by the end of 2010. To achieve this goal, Stopwaste.org developed a comprehensive recycling plan that identifies specific programs, objectives and strategies for the county to promote sustainable consumption and disposal patterns in its own operations. In developing the plan, StopWaste.org consulted a wide variety of public agencies and county residents.  The 17 jurisdictions that make up StopWaste.org are making progress towards reaching their goal, with 61% waste diversion in 2009.

Keys to Success

  • Public involvement in all programs
  • Public involvement in decision-making processes
  • Linkages to other resource conservation efforts and to social and economic development programs
  • Innovative programs to actively engage individuals and organizations in waste reduction and resource conservation efforts
  • In-house programs to lead by example
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