Northern California Continues Quest for Local Take-Back Ordinances

March 16, 2017

While the County of Los Angeles in Southern California deliberates over take-back legislation, the number of Counties in Northern California to pass take-back ordinances continues to grow.

Northern California Counties have led the way in pursuing take-back legislation in California. Seven Bay Area Counties (San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Marin, and Contra Costa) have all passed some form of take-back legislation. A potential eighth, Sonoma in the North Bay, is pushing hard to join them with plans to have a draft ordinance before their Board of Supervisors in early summer.

Sonoma’s County Board of Supervisors held a study session in late 2016 and directed staff to begin drafting drug take-back legislation while simultaneously conducting community research on the possible inclusion of sharps. Throughout 2017, County staff have pursued an ordinance methodically through conducting individual study sessions at each of the City Councils and other local government agencies within the County’s borders. These hearings serve to promote extended producer responsibility (EPR) throughout the County and to get localized feedback. Should the County pass an ordinance this summer it would cover the unincorporated areas of the County. County staff would then return to each of the Cities to push for localized ordinances that would cover their individual City jurisdictions and work collaboratively with the County’s language.

Much further north, rural Tehama County sits over two hours north of Sacramento with a population of only 63,000 residents. Tehama is the first County outside of the heavily populated areas along the Pacific Coast to study these issues publicly. County staff have held several study sessions in 2017 where they have been joined by Executive Director Heidi Sanborn of the pro-take-back California Product Stewardship Council. A local City Manager in the City of Corning in Tehama County serves as a member of their statewide Board of Directors and has been key to the rural push.

Sonoma and Tehama County will conduct further public meetings on their way to drafting legislation for their respective County Board of Supervisors in the coming months.

CLSA continues to be at the forefront of such local activities and speak on their impact of the industry. Questions? Please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations at