San Francisco recycling effort keeps 69% of waste material from going into landfill

PUBLIC USE OF COMPOSTABLE GREEN BINS WOULD RAISE PERCENTAGE TO 78%

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GREEN COMPOSTABLE BINS are spotlighted as quick and easy means to hike communicty recycling results during a Wednesday press conference across from San Francisco Recyling Center.
Photos by John Han

By Pat Murphy
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Nearly 40% of all material San Franciscans toss into sidewalk black recylcing bins are compostable, according to a study released yesterday.

Unfortunately, that compostable material ends up going into landfill when dropped into black recyling bins.

City officials hope to educate the public to use green recycling bins to quickly and easily hike community reclyling success. Mayor Gavin Newsom gathered environmental workers Wednesday to focus public attention.

“If we were to capture all of the compostables that are currently going to the landfill, we’d have a 78% recycling rate,” explained Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Enviornment.

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“The recently adopted ordinance requiring supermarkets and drug stores to distribute compostable bags will help us drive these numbers up, since residents can put messy food waste into the bag, tie it off, and drop it neatly into the green cart,” noted Blumenfeld.

A study done by the City’s Environment Department and approved by the California Integrated Waste Management Board indicates local recylcing currently keeps 69% of all waste materials from going into landfill.

Newsom urged residents to help boost the figure.

“San Francisco shows other big cities how recyling is done,” said the mayor.

“But we can’t rest on our laurels.

“Our goal is to recycle 75% by 2010 and to accomplish that we still need residents and businesses to take full advantage of composting and recyling programs.”

Blumenfeld lauded San Francsico Scavenger, a Norcal Company, “as a leader in efforts to combat global warming.”

The firm’s Recycling Center this year was fitted with 21,000 square feet of solar paneling. The $2.1 million project, installed by the San Francisco Public Utilites Commissions’ Power Enterprise, generates some 330,000 kilowatt hours of power each year.

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Photos Courtesy Larry Strong Photography

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Photo by John Han

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