Violations & Enforcement

The Authority expects stores to voluntarily comply and will provide assistance to help stores make the transition as easy as possible.  Repeated non-compliance with the terms of the Ordinance could result in legal consequences including civil action and/or administrative citation.

Violation of any provision shall constitute grounds for a notice of violation and fine by an Authority Representative.  Warnings and enforcement actions will be taken as needed after January 1, 2013.  Full enforcement details can be found in Section 8 of the ordinance.

Correcting Violations

If you received an Official Notification, a Notice of Violation or an Administrative Citation, follow the “Actions Required to Cure” the violation identified in the notification. The information below is provided to further assist you.  Please refer to your Official Notification, Notice of Violation or Administrative Citation to identify which violation(s) need to be corrected.  If you need another copy of your letter, please complete the Contact Us form or call the Reusable Bag Ordinance phone line at (510) 891-6575.

A full listing of the violations and how to correct them can be found here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Violations

Who do I notify that I have corrected the violation?

An Alameda County Waste Management Authority may send a representative to your store any time after 60 days of date on the Official Notification letter to ascertain if the violation has been corrected.

You may contact us through the Contact Us form or call the Reusable Bag Ordinance phone line at (510) 891-6575. 

Where do I submit evidence of a corrected violation?

Evidence of a corrected violation will be collected when an Alameda County Waste Management Authority enforcement officer re-inspects the store to verify the correction(s).  You may contact us through the Contact Us form or call the Reusable Bag Ordinance phone line at (510) 891-6575. 

What do I do with my existing supply of non-compliant bags?

As an Agency dedicated to reducing the amount of waste heading to landfill, please don't send those bags to landfill!

We suggest the following options:

  1. Return non-compliant bags to your Distributor or Manufacturer.  Let them know these bags are NOT compliant with Ordinance 2012-02 and ask them to stock only Compliant Reusable and Recycled Paper Bags.  Refer them to the specifications and testing requirements for complaint bags on the website.
  2. Sell bags to stores not affected by Ordinance 2012-02.  Restaurants, cafes, retail clothing stores and non-food retailers currently are not affected by the Ordinance 2012-02.
  3. Donate bags to a non-profit retail shop such as Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Thrift Town and others. 

When can I expect to be inspected again?

Stores who received notification that they are in violation of either "Distributing Single Use Carryout Bags" and/or "Failure to charge or charging an insufficient fee for paper bags or reusable bags" will have 30 days to correct the violation.  The Alameda County Waste Management Authority may send a representative to your store anytime after 30 days from the date on your Official Notification to re-inspect the store for compliance.

For all other violations, we offer stores 60 days to come into compliance with Ordinance 2012-02. The Alameda County Waste Management Authority may send a representative to your store anytime after 60 days from the date on your Official Notification to re-inspect the store for compliance.

Why was there a time delay between the inspection of my store and the receipt of an Official Notification?

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority did not issue official notifications until 200 stores' inspections were completed and results were analyzed.  Future notifications will be sent more closely to the inspection date. 

I don't think my store is affected by the ordinance, what should I do?

If your store does not meet the requirements of an affected store, please complete the Contact Us form or call the Reusable Bag Ordinance phone line at (510) 891-6575.