Alameda County is one step closer to passing an
Questions and suggestions made in October during the were taken into consideration when making several drafts of the ordinance, including its 15-page final draft (posted as a PDF to the right of this article).
Despite Miley's hopes of having it placed on a countywide ballot this November, the supervisor decided to have it go before the board based on various feedback he had received. It will likely be voted on by the end of the month.
The final draft of the ordinance includes more findings to support the overall model of the ordinance -- product stewardship. Product stewardship would hold producers and manufacturers financially responsible for properly disposing of unwanted and unused medications and identifying possible drug take-back sites in each city of Alameda County.
Another major change in the final draft was the elimination of a complicated phase-in process for prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Due to current federal law, controlled substances are handled seperately.
On Jan. 11, Miley sent out several letters to sanitary district department heads, elected officials and organizations across Alameda County, asking for support on this ordinance. He requested support in two forms: either a written letter or placement as an item on the agendas of city councils.
So far, the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District in Martinez has sent a letter of support. Although Miley has not received any letters of opposition, the city of Hayward says it is looking into developing a similar ordinance for its community. Since it's a charter city, Hayward had concerns about the countywide ordinance overriding local authority.
Miley recommended looking into this issue further.
"Safe medication disposal is an important issue for all Alameda County residents," he released in a statement. "We expect pharmaceutical companies to be responsible for the products that they sell once they expire and become dangerous."
, is one of several organizations that partnered with Miley as part of the Senior Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Prevention workgroup.
The AOD workgroup started in 2008 by senior residents from unincorporated areas of Alameda County and parts of Oakland to looked at data regarding alcohol and drug problems among older adults. It issued focus groups in the community and conducted much of the research mentioned in the ordinance.
After beginning with community education and building partnerships with different local orgainzations to increase disposal options, CommPre's director Linda Pratt said it's amazing to reach the policy-planning stage.
"I know how complex it is and how much work it is," Pratt said. "You're changing a system — multiple systems in this case."
If the Board of Supervisors passes the ordinance, Pratt said the next step would be implementation.
"I have a strong feeling it will be supported by a strong majority of the board," she said.