help us save the earth!

First Fridays recently has transitioned into being a “Green” Event, with the ultimate goal of becoming a “Zero Waste” Event. In recent months, patrons have been presented with sets of Green, Blue and Black receptacles, in which to dispose of their unwanted leftovers. Each month, there has been increased awareness and less cross contamination among the three bins. This makes for less work, at the Sort Station where each bag is opened and the contents sorted into the correct bin. What is desired is for greater cooperation among our Food Vendors to further facilitate the sorting of bags. Please consider adopting the following guidelines and recommendations, as much as practical for your food handling business.

1. Food vendors are requested to have and to use at least two receptacles in their food preparation area: a green receptacle for organics only (such as food trimmings and leftovers, soiled paper and other compostable food materials), and a second receptacle for everything else (including gloves, any plastics containers, utensils, caps, plastic wrap, bags, rags, etc., and as needed, cans, jars, and bottles). The recyclables will be retrieved afterward at the Sort Station.

2. It is requested that only dark colored single use vinyl gloves be used, since they sometimes get mixed with compostable waste, and are easier to spot and remove.

3. Note: If there is insufficient floor space within the Food Truck for a second same size receptacle, then alternatively consider using a smaller size receptacle, or a plastic bag with a large tied knot that can be hung from a hook on the wall.

4. Begin phasing out your use of plastic, or bio-plastics made of compostable corn or potato starch, in favor of paper and wood based food ware. Plastics are distinguishable with the imprint on the bottom of a triangle of chasing arrows with a number in the middle, 1 – 7 .

5. Clear plastic cups # 1 and 2 are still OK. Food service wares # 3 through 7 are discouraged. Styrofoam food service ware and cups have been prohibited in Oakland since 2007.

6. It is preferred that beverage cups and small condiments cups be paper based, rather than plastic.

7. Utensils are preferred to be wood based. Bio-based utensils are not welcome at some compost facilities, so consequently for now, all plastic and bio-plastic utensils are being landfilled.

8. Please be informed that beginning January 1, 2019, food service establishments may no longer include plastic straws in beverages, except upon request.

9. If there is surplus food at the time cutoff for selling, then please consider donation of edible food to local shelters, food banks, or soup kitchens. Be advised that California's Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, AB1219, became law in January 2018, which strengthens liability protection for donations made directly to end-users.