Sacramento County Plastic Bag Ban

Yes, the City of Sacramento has banned plastic bags as of January 1st, 2016!

The County of Sacramento, however, has yet to make the same move.

ECOS fully supports the single-use plastic bag ban in Sacramento County.

Here’s your chance to weigh in on the burden of plastic bags. Contact the Board of Supervisors in the form of a phone call, e-mail, letter, or attending their workshop on Tuesday March 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm (in the Board of Supervisors chambers). Show where YOU stand on plastic bags! Any help is greatly appreciated.

As you may know, the organization Californians Against Waste is working diligently on upholding the statewide plastic bag ban. That effort involves assisting local jurisdictions in implementing their own bans. Sacramento County is en route to adopting a single-use plastic bag ban that will eliminate plastic bag litter in the rivers, parks, and communities throughout the area. It will also save the county countless tax dollars spent to clean-up the 4 million plastic bags that are distributed weekly in unincorporated Sacramento County. And of course, the benefit to wildlife will be priceless.

District 1, Phil Serna, (916) 874-5485, SupervisorSerna [at] saccounty [dot] net
District 2, Patrick Kennedy, (916) 874-5481, SupervisorKennedy [at] saccounty [dot] net
District 3, Susan Peters, (916) 874-5471, susanpeters [at] saccounty [dot] net
District 4, Roberta MacGlashan, (916) 874-5491, macglashanr [at] saccounty [dot] net
District 5, Don Nottoli, (916) 874-5465, nottolid [at] saccounty [dot] net

Some useful information:

  • Single-use plastic bags are expensive to clean up, environmentally damaging, and an easily preventable source of litter.
  • California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery found that less than 5% of these single-use plastic bags are recycled in California.
  • Even when properly disposed of, bags tend to blow out of trash cans, solid waste vehicles and off the face of the County’s Keifer Landfill landing in the county’s parks and waterways.
  • Much of the county’s plastic eventually washed out through the Delta into San Francisco Bay and then to coastal waters.
  • 147 cities and counties, including the City of Sacramento, have adopted local restrictions on single-use plastic bags which have been to be both popular and effective.
  • In unincorporated Sacramento County, almost 4 million bags are distributed every week, which means that each day without a ban contributes about 540,000 bags to the problem.
  • The local Material Recovery Facility shuts down on average 6 times per day to remove plastic bags from their sorting equipment.
  • The Sacramento County Environmental Commission recommends this ordinance.

Flex your citizen power. Encourage the Board of Supervisors to pass a plastic bag ban in Sacramento County!

Contact:
Genevieve Abedon
Californians Against Waste
genevieveabedon [at] cawrecycles [dot] org

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Feb 11 Update from Trees Sacramento

February 11, 2016

Dear Tree Advocates

Trees Sacramento continues to promote a strong tree ordinance with City Staff and Council members. Our letter was signed by six regional environmental organizations, supported by 10 neighborhood associations, and an additional 11 individual community leaders.  Staff has indicated that they hoped to take another version of the tree ordinance to the Law and Legislation Committee in March and to City Council in April 2016.  This version may include some of our recommendations but not others.

In a recent meeting with Council Member Jeff Harris, we were encouraged that some of our recommendations are being considered and some may be incorporated into the next revision of the Staff’s proposed ordinance.  There appears to be support at the City that  trees on city-owned properties would be treated equally with the same protections as city street trees.  Staff is reexamining the issue of requiring replacement and mitigation in the ordinance for removal of protected trees (rather than leaving this to the discretion of the director).

However, staff is still opposed to other important recommendations such as a notification of tree removals, requiring trees in all development projects, and making tree removal factors (criteria) objective and quantifiable.

Upper Land Park Neighbors, Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association,  Trees4Sacramento and ECOS also attended the Parks and Recreation Commission hearing when staff presented the tree ordinance changes they seek.  Most commissioners were strongly in favor of better notification of tree removals to community.  In addition, some members indicated they did not want to hear tree appeals because they lack expertise to make informed decisions.

We are making progress,  but we will have to wait and review the new draft ordinance and prepare a response when it is available.  

In particular we want to ensure that the ordinance revises support and are consistent with our General Plan policies and Climate Action Plan.  Our General Plan policies in question are underlined below:

ER 3.1.2 Manage and Enhance the City’s Tree Canopy

The City shall continue to plant new trees, ensure new developments have sufficient right-of-way width for tree plantings, manage and care for all publicly owned trees, and work to retain healthy trees. The City shall monitor, evaluate and report, by community plan area and citywide, on the entire tree canopy in order to maintain and enhance trees throughout the City and to identify opportunities for new plantings. (RDR/MPSP/SO)

ER 3.1.3 Trees of Significance

The City shall require the retention of City trees and Heritage Trees by promoting stewardship of such trees and ensuring that the design of development projects provides for the retention of these trees wherever possible. Where tree removal cannot be avoided, the City shall require tree replacement or appropriate remediation. (RDR/MPSP)

ER 3.1.4 Visibility of Commercial Corridors

The City shall balance the tree canopy of the urban forest with the need for visibility along commercial corridors, including the selection of tree species with elevated canopies. (RDR)

ER 3.1.6 Urban Heat Island Effects.

The City shall continue to promote planting shade trees with substantial canopies, and require, where feasible, site design that uses trees to shade rooftops, parking facilities, streets, and other facilities to minimize heat island effects. (RDR/PI)

ER 3.1.9 Funding

The City shall provide adequate funding to manage and maintain the city’s urban forest on City property, including tree planting, training, maintenance, removal, and replacement. (SO/FB)

 THANK YOU  for all your help in getting the improvements to the current staff ordinance.  BE AWARE — we will need your help for the upcoming two meetings  – to  get people to send support letters and attend these important meetings.

Trees Sacramento

trees4sacto [at] sbcglobal [dot] net

Please visit our Trees Sacramento page for more information about this issue.

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Jan 8 Update: Sacramento City Tree Ordinance

January 8, 2016

UPDATE: a new community letter has been submitted. Visit our Trees Sacramento page for more details.

Trees Sacramento is a group of community members working to improve the City of Sacramento’s tree ordinance. Some of the changes being proposed will benefit developers and could cost residents many of the city’s trees that we have come to know and love.

Main Points

The revisions to the Sacramento city tree ordinance currently being proposed are bad for our community because they:

  • conflict with General Plan policies for the Urban Forest
  • degrade existing standards for tree removal
  • remove the right of citizens to appeal removals of city-owned trees
  • will result in more frequent removal of healthy trees and their public benefits to
    residents

Fact Sheet

Trees Sacramento has released a fact sheet to help you understand why we need to act now protect the trees in the City of Trees.

Community Letter

ECOS signed on to a Community Letter on Revising Sacramento’s Tree Ordinances submitted January 4, 2016 to the City of Sacramento’s law and legislation committee in anticipation of their reviewing the latest proposed tree ordinance on January 12, 2016. The law and legislation committee pulled the item from their agenda on January 8, 2016 and will resume the discussion at a later time.

Other Cities

Other cities have found ways to create more transparency and better monitoring by citizens. For example, in Portland:

Tree loss spurs Portland residents to action

Tree Project Oversight Advisory Committee

Get in Touch

Get in touch with the Trees Sacramento coalition by emailing them at trees4sacto [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

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