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July 10, 2012 > Letter to the Editor: Response to Alameda County Grand Jury

Letter to the Editor: Response to Alameda County Grand Jury

The Alameda County Grand Jury 2011-12 Final Report criticizes StopWaste.Org for "continued growth" and "redefining its purpose." These claims are incorrect.

First, our FY 2012-13 core budget is 13.5 percent lower than our core budget when the last recession began (FY 2008-09) and cumulative inflation since then has been more than 7.5 percent. This is not a pattern of "continued growth."

Second, the Jury apparently thinks our energy-efficiency and green building retrofit program, launched in 2010, is a "redefinition" of our mission. That program, developed cooperatively with all 14 cities in Alameda County and with the County itself, promotes the use of recycled-content building materials within a much larger state-wide effort to reduce building energy use known as Energy Upgrade California. Furthermore, the program is almost entirely supported by grant funds, not $1.8M of "public dollars (collected though waste disposal surcharges)" per the Grand Jury. StopWaste.Org, in collaboration with its member agencies and other partners, has successfully competed for and obtained more than $8M of federal, state and investor-owned utility energy-efficiency funding that benefits Alameda County's residents and businesses.

It is unfortunate the Alameda County Grand Jury continues to make inaccurate statements about our organization. Public policy should be based on understanding, not misunderstanding.

Gary Wolff, P.E., Ph.D., Executive Director
StopWaste.Org (the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board operating as one public agency)
June 28, 2012

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