Starting on April 1, 2012, food vendors in Foster City may not use polystyrene-based disposable food service ware. The City Council adopted the County of San Mateo's ordinance by reference, meaning that all of the provisions of the County's ordinance will apply in Foster City. Read the complete text of the ordinance here.
Once the ordinance goes into effect, Foster City's Ordinance will be enforced by San Mateo County Health Department staff on the City's behalf. County staff will incorporate this element into routine health inspections of permitted food vendors. Additional inspections may be made if complaints are made from citizens regarding a violation of the ordinance.
Residents can support this ordinance by properly recycling or composting your take-out containers. Or, reduce waste even more by bringing your reusable coffee mug or containers when you eat out.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who has to follow the ordinance?
All food vendors who are required to obtain a permit to sell prepared food as listed in the Ordinance, including but not limited to restaurants, cafes, delis, fast-food establishments, vendors at fairs, and food trucks.
What does the ordinance prohibit?
Foam and solid polystyrene food service ware as listed in the Ordinance, including but not limited to containers, bowls, plates, and cups.
Why regulate the use of polystyrene?
Polystyrene is difficult to recycle and when littered, creates a threat to our marine environment and wildlife.
What food service ware does the ordinance allow?
Any type of biodegradable, compostable, reusable, or recyclable food service ware. Acceptable products include: Aluminum, plastics coded with #1, 2, 4 or 5, uncoated or coated paper, cardboard, and plastics made from corn, potatoes, sugar, or other plant based products.
Can I get recycling or compost collection service at my business?
The City encourages all businesses to offer recycling and/or composting bins for your customers and employees. Being able to recycle and compost will ensure that the take-out containers you use can be properly disposed of. To get recycling or compost service at your facility, Recology San Mateo County at (650) 595-3900.
Follow this link to view the County's ordinance
Follow this link to view the City's ordinance
Follow the links below to view the flyer of acceptable and unacceptable materials.
Follow this link to the County of San Mateo's Food Program webpage.
Questions? Call the San Mateo County Health Department at (650) 372-6200 or visit www.smhealth.org/food.