Reduce means actions taken before waste is generated to either reduce or completely prevent the generation of waste.

Some common Reduce options at Castro Valley businesses include:

  • Using reusable dishes and utensils and to replace disposables.
  • Using reusable sauce and condiment dispensers instead of disposables.
  • Institute a policy of printing double-sided as the default.
  • Reduce junk mail at work. For more information, go to
  • Work with a supplier to ship deliveries to your business in returnable containers.
  • Eliminate unnecessary forms. Double-side forms or redesign them to fit on a half sheet.
  • Allow Stopwaste Partnership staff to conduct a thorough on-site assessment of your facility.
  • Institute an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) policy. Go to Stopwaste for more information on EPP:
  • Do a thorough database sweep with an eye to reducing waste, by removing duplicate names and out-of-date entries from mailing lists.
  • If there is a lawn on your property, work with your landscaping contractor to begin “grasscycling”—the practice of leaving clippings on the lawn while mowing. For more information, see

For more waste prevention tips, go to

Provide sauce and condiment dispensers to reduce packaging waste.

How Do I Become a 4R Star?

Start and maintain at least one activity in each of the following categories (click the links below to find out more about each “R” for your business): 





Over 50 businesses have already become 4R Stars and received their award and recognition.  Support your local 4R Star businesses – Click here for the directory of certified businesses.

Are you ready to apply for 4R Star certification?

Complete the 4R Business, 4R Planet Program application and submit to CVSan.

Businesses that successfully complete the 4R Business, 4R Planet Award Program requirements earn their 4R Stars.  4R Star businesses will receive:

  • A cash award ranging from $150 to $525 (depending on business size and level of waste diversion).
  • An award certificate to display with pride.
  • One (1) free advertisement in the Castro Valley Forum.
  • And more!

Eligible businesses include all businesses located within the CVSan boundaries including preschools.  K-Adult schools and home-based businesses are not eligible to become certified 4R Stars at this time, however they may participate in the Alameda County Green Business Program.

Every 3 years, each 4R Star will be notified of quick and easy recertification procedures.