Help Support The Race To Zero Waste!


Join the Virtual 5K Walk/Run
to Zero Waste Challenge!
(Or just donate!)

With your generous support, Race to Zero Waste can uphold its mission of “Sustainability in Action.” As we reflect upon our workers, ways to promote Zero Waste initiatives, and how we can better serve our community once social restrictions are lifted, we can acknowledge our past, work in the present, and plan a Zero Waste future for all.

Below are The 3 P’s your support of Race to Zero Waste will create:

  • Providing financial assistance to R20W Workers
  • Promoting accessible Zero Waste education and outreach
  • Pursuing safer, more efficient Zero Waste methods for future events.

We are all in this together and your support will help guide our future into a new and even better normal than the one we left behind. RUN/WALK/BIKE with us in solidarity over solutions that keep us all safe and our planet healthy for generations to come.


Once you register you’ll be able to set-up your tracker (Charity Footprints free iOS/Android app or link up your Fitbit), and complete your distance goal anywhere and anytime!

The registration/running fee is $25, and you can sign up as an individual our create your own team to invite friends and family to support you on this challenge.

We’ve got some fun ways to stay engaged, learn about Zero Waste and meet new people virtually of course >:)

May 22nd, Live @ 5 pm PDT – Zero Waste Educational Series
May 29th, Live @ 5 pm PDT – Celebration Zero Waste Fest

Zoom Link:

Plastics Free CA Ballot Initiative


Plastics Free CA is a ballot initiative—an effort organized by the people of California to impact change through an upcoming election. Signature gathering was on a great roll, but due to the current circumstances, the campaign managers as estimating they are about 40-50,000 signatures short. They are accepting signatures through June 19. If you have access to a printer or printing shop, here’s how you can help make sure that Californians have a chance to vote to stop plastic pollution:

Step 1: Review the initiative

Step 2: Print, sign, and send! Please read the instructions carefully

Step 3: Spread the word! Share this site and use the hashtag #PlasticsFreeCA on social media

Petition drive paid for by Clean Coasts, Clean Water, Clean Streets: Environmentalists, Recyclers, and Farmers Against Plastic Pollution. Committee major funding from Recology, Corn Refiners Association and New Approach PAC.

Bay Area Shelter-In-Place Orders Amended To Include Recycling and Composting


Doug Brooms, ZWAC Co-Chair, 5/14/20

In the revised S-I-P Order, issued on April 29 by Alameda County and Contra Costa County, and likely others, the definition of “Essential Infrastructure” has been amended as follows:

  • Essential Infrastructure means airports, utilities (including water, sewer, gas, and electrical), oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste facilities (including collection, removal, disposal, recycling, and processing facilities)…
  • All recycling facilities may operate, including but not limited to those providing for recycling of beverage containers, scrap metal, used oil, construction and demolition debris, and any other materials that can be, or are required to be, recycled by the State of California.
  • Composting facilities may operate and composting activities may take place.

This was welcome news for recycling businesses. On the first day following the revised Order, Cash for Cans in East Oakland reopened for business, with over 100 pleased customers, after being closed for six weeks.

There is speculation that the change might have been precipitated by letters that had been emailed individually to each Public Health Department Director serving five of the participating Bay Area Counties. At a NCRA Zero Waste Advocacy Committee (ZWAC) meeting via Zoom teleconference on 4/14, attendees had commented on the impact of Covid-19 on waste collection services, mostly the curtailment or suspension of businesses handling recyclable materials.

To address concerns raised by members, ZWAC Co-Chair John Moore volunteered to draft a letter to send to County Public Health Directors. Paragraph #1 included several compelling arguments for the inclusion of recycling within the solid waste category of Essential Infrastructure. Paragraph #2 presented a strong case for allowing CRV buy back businesses to operate. Paragraph #3 had requested accommodation to allow grocery store customers to bring in their reusable bags.

The 4/29 Order had acceded to the first two counts, with composting appearing as an added bonus. It is not known if the Public Health Directors had heard from any other grassroots organizations or recycling businesses. There may be no way of knowing for sure whether the NCRA letters had been persuasive or pivotal, but there is gratification in suspecting that they were. Letters in fact can make a difference.

Website & Social Media Survey!

We would like to know what you think of this website and our social media:
Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn and YouTube

Please take our Survey by June 15!

Members            Non-Members

Now that we can only interact virtually, on-line communication is more important than ever. So, we’ve created a survey to get your feedback on how our website and social media can meet your needs. It shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to fill out (depends on you) and if you include your contact info, you’ll be entered in the survey raffle to win a 2021 Recycling Update (RU) registration or a $100 Community Bikes  gift certificate

Also, please help by sharing the following link with non-member friends interested in recycling, so we can learn how to better reach people with our Zero Waste message:

Our goal is to hear from hundreds if not thousands of people!

Please respond today or by June 15!


March 10, 2020

NCRA Recycling Update and Zero Waste Week Activities Postponed

As all are aware, the COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly and has become a serious global health concern. The consensus of expert advice is that it would be unwise to move forward with large events at this time. Many of our speakers and attendees from various  businesses and agencies have been given travel and meeting restrictions, while others are choosing to not travel.  The absence of so many attendees would have a noticeable effect on Recycling Update.

Therefore, we have decided to postpone RU2020 and the other Zero Waste Week events, perhaps until September/October. We will get back to you with a revised plan.

Postponed Zero Waste Week events include:

        • Recycling Update
        • Zero Waste Youth Convergence
        • Green Drinks @ Spats
        • Urban Ore Welcome Reception
        • Zero Waste USA Training
        • Berkeley Food Network Tour
        • Chou Hall Tour
        • Renewal Mill / O2 Artisans Tour
        • North Bay Tour
        • Livermore Compost Tour
        • Dance to Zero Waste
        • Race to Zero Waste (virtual option pending)

The National Zero Waste Conference (NZWC) is no longer meeting in-person and the organizers are researching alternatives. They are not planning a September/October 2020 NZWC at this time.

As the duration of the Covid-19 epidemic is unknown, any new dates for RU2020 and Zero Waste Week may be subject to change.  We will keep you apprised of the situation as it unfolds.  Thank you for your patience and understanding. (Sorry about the automatic reminder earlier today.)

We encourage you to keep your registrations and join us in September/October. These events fund our non-profit and make possible Zero Waste advocacy and education programs. We appreciate your support!

If you need to cancel, please confirm with your team supervisor first – if appropriate. If approved, please use the NCRA Office Contact Form and select REFUND as the subject.  Juliana will be working on this closely and you will receive a refund within 30 days.

For all of you still attending public events, we suggest you follow CDC protocols. This includes following good hygiene and being vigilant about it, including washing hands often, not touching your face with unwashed hands and using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Also, consider options for a handshake free greetings, such as:  wave, smile, make eye contact, Namaste, fist bump, elbow-bump, footshake or point one finger to say hello to old and new friends.


National Zero Waste Conference

CDC: Mass Gatherings
CDC: Sick With Coronavirus?
City of Berkeley

San Francisco