San Francisco’s waste management program is unique because they have an ambitious goal: no waste sent to a landfill.
Instead they want to “divert as much material that can be recycled or composted as possible.” The city has recycling and composting but their composting is unique — it includes food scraps. They’ll even take paper plates with food on it.
The city is an example to other cities and claims that they recycle up to 90% of what’s being thrown away.
They hope to reach their goal by 2020.
Part of that was getting buy in and passing a law to make composting mandatory. “The mandatory [composting] was a much bigger deal to pass, because that was a direct behavioral thing we were asking people to do. We went through a long stakeholder process, meeting with apartment associations, business associations, building manager associations, the chamber, to get their impact and support on how mandatory would work.”
They also put in economic incentives – businesses and people save money by recycling because the city charges them by volume of waste. The city claims it can save hundreds if not thousands per month.
There is also training. “From helping them to physically set up a program and providing stickers and signs and doing training of janitors, we have a whole team of people who do this training.”
The success is pretty amazing: “From the time that mandatory composting was passed in April last year, we’ve gone from 400 tons a day of compostables being collected to almost 600 tons. Within a year we saw an increase of about a quarter in the number of businesses participating.”
I wonder if we could implement this in our city…read more at http://www.grist.org/article/2010-10-12-the-city-that-said-no-to-garbage/
- Mayor Wants to Start City Recycling Program (rubberecycle.com)