My garbage bill came the other day, and I was looking over the flier they sent with it. It makes me proud to live in San Francisco, as our garbage/recycling/composting program is very impressive. I pay $24.76 a month, and I am satisfied. Garbage and waste disposal is a fundamental global urban problem – some landfills like Fresh Kills in New York are so massive they can be seen from space. Proper disposal is one major key to sustainable living. Here are some benchmarks that the city and county of San Francisco has achieved over the last 20 years of work:
1989: Curbside recycling starts in SF
1995: SF exceeds the state mandate of 25% waste diversion from landfills
2000: City meets state mandate of 50% diversion from landfills
2001: City adds residential and commercial composting (green carts) and changes the old blue bins to new blue carts; items accepted for recycling continues to expand. My black cart starts getting really light!
2006: SF City ordinance mandates that all Construction & Demolition debris be sorted by a registered facility that can process mixed waste and divert a minimum of 65% from the landfill. SF Achieves 70% landfill diversion.
It is an impressive and only partial list. Composting is the really bright spot as it is processed and reused by local agriculture, as opposed to some of the recycled items that get shipped overseas for processing. Too bad we don’t have someone clever here who can figure out a way to make money by turning paper into insulation LOCALLY. I bet that person would not only save the planet, make a good living, and employ people, he or she would also become a paragon of virtue, be envied by the community, and even get a profile here at SS…
Here is a great guerrilla video to end on =)