Southern California Counties Proposing Takeback Ordinances

October 12, 2015

With nearly a quarter of all Californians living in Los Angeles County, what happens in the coming months regarding the county’s take back discussions will have an oversized influence on what may happen for the whole state, and could even portend future actions around the nation. A County Working Group was formed over the summer to research the drug takeback ordinances in the San Francisco Bay Area and propose one for Los Angeles.

The EPR Working Group is made up of the Chief Executive Office; County Counsel; the Sheriff’s Department; the Departments of Health Services, Internal Services, Mental Health and Public Health; and the County Sanitation Districts. Their initial joint staff report from July is entitled “Managing Unused and Expired Medications and Sharps Waste in The County of Los Angeles,” and adds takeback of sharps into the equation along with drug take back plans from the Bay Area.

The Working Group invited impacted stakeholders and supportive organizations, including CLSA, to two public meetings last month. On Sept. 28, a ‘technical advisory’ stakeholder meeting was held where the County staff stated unequivocally that some type of ordinance would be soon drafted and distributed a handout headed “Key Elements to be Addressed Based on Existing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Pharmaceutical Take-Back Ordinances in California.”
An afternoon public forum brought residents for public comment. Two more stakeholder meetings will be held in October, with a final meeting and a second public forum on Nov. 13. Draft legislation is to be presented by county staff in November for further feedback and then presented before the Board of Supervisors in February 2016. Outside of the meetings, any further comments are also being collected by the County via or 626-458-3550.

Beyond Los Angeles County, staff from Ventura County attended the September Los Angeles meetings to research for their county. The Board of Supervisors of Santa Barbara County heard a staff recommendation on Oct. 6 to draft a drug take back proposal for 2016. Further, the County of Santa Cruz plans to have a draft drug/sharps take back ordinance before their Board of Supervisors in November.

CLSA continues to advocate for the industry’s perspectives on these matters county by county. CLSA’s Associate Director of Government Relations Reese Isbell will continue to participate in each of the aforementioned Los Angeles meetings. For further details or questions, feel free to contact him at