San Francisco may already have the highest waste diversion rate in the U.S. (an astounding 72%), but that isn’t stopping the progressive Bay Area city from raising the bar. How high, you ask? By 2020, the entire city plans to be waste-free — as in no waste being sent to nearly bursting landfills in Northern California. The hope is to eliminate the need for future landfill locations in the region. New city laws, implemented by the newly coined trash agency Recology, have been put in effect to collect nearly everything residents would typically throw out, featuring a trio of colored bins — black for trash, blue for recyclables and the newest, green, for compostable food scraps and biodegradable waste. The initiative is hardly being taken lightly — after an initial grace period, improper sorting will result in a hefty fine. It’s all part of the city’s goal for 2020, all the while combating the Bay Area’s ever-increasing greenhouse gas problem. Not surprisingly, Recology has reported quick adaptation to the new program, to the tune of a 400-500-ton increase in compost material per day. San Francisco, after all, has long been on the cusp of important green initiatives. Will the city be able to go zero-waste by 2020? Only time will tell, but with only 28% waste diversion to go, it seems to be an attainable goal.
Waste Not, San Francisco
By 2020, the entire city of San Francisco plans to be waste-free, thanks to a new initiative by Recology.