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San Francisco Bay Delta

Rethink Disposable: Packaging Waste Source Reduction Pilot Project

This project targets takeout food packaging, the largest documented source of trash in urban runoff that in turn ends up in our bays and oceans. The project will assist local municipalities to develop source reduction methods for their local businesses and will provide model approaches for municipalities to meet their trash reduction permit requirements.

Project Facts

Recipient: Clean Water Fund
Funding: $257,293 (non-federal match = $85,764), FFY: 2011
Project Period: September 2012 – November 2015
Partners: Oakland, San Francisco, South San Francisco and San Jose, and San Mateo County along with the business community

Environmental Results Summary: Rethink Disposable - Packaging Waste Source Reduction Pilot Project

OUTPUTS (Activities, efforts, and/or work product during project period)

OUTCOMES (Environmental results)

(1-5 yrs)


Work with local governments and food establishments to develop cost-effective models to reduce takeout food disposable packaging

Conduct 12 audits of food establishments to develop case studies on source reduction, a takeout food source reduction outreach plan and educational materials

Develop first U.S. model policy encouraging Bring Your Own beverage containers which can achieve a 13% reduction in beverage container litter

Reduce trash from takeout food packaging by 36,000 pounds/100 businesses/year

Help municipalities meet the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit 40% waste reduction target

Provide new approach to reducing trash in inland and coastal waters- moving from capture and control to source reduction

Reduce cradle to grave/ lifecycle impacts associated with disposable packaging

BYO beverage containers policy may enable a local jurisdiction to achieve up to a 13% reduction in beverage container litter

Help municipalities meet the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit 100% waste reduction target by 2022

Full List of Project Summaries