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At a recognition event on June 13, StopWaste named the recipients of the 2024 StopWaste Environmental Leadership Awards. Celebrated for the 22nd time, this annual awards program honors Alameda County entities for their leadership and innovations in advancing environmental sustainability, waste prevention, and contributions to building healthy, climate resilient communities in Alameda County.

Spectrum Community Services, a nonprofit in Hayward serving nutritious hot meals to seniors, and Sparkl Reusables in Oakland, a reusable foodware service provider, have formed an innovative partnership that prevents some 10,000 pieces of disposable foodware from being wasted each month. At 10 out of 12 distribution sites, seniors receive their meals in Sparkl’s reusable containers, ready to be carried home in reusable bags. On their next visit, they return the empty, rinsed foodware in designated bins for washing and reuse. Sparkl staff picks up the used foodware and delivers freshly sanitized containers daily in a seamless, closed loop operation. Both Spectrum’s and Sparkl’s commitment to sustainability, willingness to experiment, flexibility, and excellent communication have made this successful collaboration possible.