Local Update: All Counties Throughout the Greater SF Bay Area Will Have Passed Takeback Legislation by Early 2017

Jan. 17, 2016

The entire San Francisco Bay Area will have county-by-county based drug takeback ordinances by early 2017.

At the tail end of 2016 in late December, Contra Costa County in the East Bay quickly introduced and passed its own drug takeback ordinance unanimously. In her final meeting before retiring, Supervisor Mary Piepho ushered through a unanimously-passed drug takeback ordinance. The Board also voted to include a six-month report-back for 2017 which will investigate the possible inclusion of sharps and its City jurisdictions.

Sonoma County’s Water Agency and Department of Health Services provided an informational presentation on takeback during a ‘Study Session’ before the Board of Supervisors in late 2016. The new 2017 President of the Board, Supervisor Shirlee Zane equated ‘Big Pharma’ with ‘Big Tobacco’ at the hearing while the Board unanimously directed County staff to move forward with takeback efforts. County staff currently plan to bring forward legislation in early 2017.

These recent actions are leading to a new total of eight Bay Area Counties with drug takeback legislation. These eight Counties (Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Marin, Contra Costa, and Sonoma) encompass the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. It is expected that they all will begin working together collectively on drug take back implementation goals. As such, the coordinated work of Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, and Santa Barbara was collectively awarded the Outstanding Policy/Legislative Advancement Award at CalRecycle’s Annual Used Oil and Household Hazardous Waste Training and Conference in Sacramento in November.

Outside of the Bay Area, the County of Los Angeles continues it plans for a drug and sharps takeback ordinance. In the most recent hearing before the Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County’s Extended Producer Responsibility Working Group presented its concerns around the industry’s alternative proposal for an education initiative. Board Members expressed their displeasure with industry and directed further legislative planning for early 2017.

CLSA continues to advocate in each County jurisdiction the industry’s perspective on takeback legislation and the extended producer responsibility concept. Questions? Please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations at