I am back! Recently, I went to our building on Bush Street with Steven and one of his colleagues from the SF Department of the Environment. We traveled from door to door, offering compost pails to the residents. 2/3 of the residents we met took the compost pails! The other 1/3 of the residents told us that we were (and I quote) “barking up the wrong tree.” 15 of the 33 residents answered the door during our entire voyage through the building! On the whole, 11 out of the 33 residents were at home and accepted the compost bins– a 33%starting point. I still consider this mission a success for both economic and environmental reasons:
Economically, the introduction of the compost bins allows for a reduction of garbage pickups. After traveling to Bush street regularly to check the volume of garbage bin space that was being used with the SRELP group, we came to the conclusion that we could reduce the garbage pickup schedule by 3 days (which saved more than $800 per month). The compost bin will provide a new space for biodegradable waste, giving us the ability to reduce our reliance on the black bin, which saved us money. Fortunately, San Francisco’s Recology policies ensure that compostable and recyclable waste management is a free service. In this way, we can divert what was once garbage volume into composting volume, saving money.
Environmentally, even a 33% increase in compost use is beneficial. True, it’s less than we would have hoped– but I am certain that through persistent phone calls and communication with our tenants, we can still convince some of the Bush street residents to help us save our planet.
Next stop, compost at Guerrero!