San Francisco already diverts over 72% of its waste from landfills thanks to rigorous recycling efforts, and now the city is set to cut down on trash even more with the country’s first mandatory composting law, which took effect yesterday. Residents and businesses now have six weeks to start composting food waste, plant trimmings, and other items. Needless to say we’re thrilled by this initiative, and we invite everyone to join us as we chat with Mayor Gavin Newsom about it next Wednesday in our final Green Talks webcast!

sustainable design, green design, san francisco, recycling initiatives, compost, agriculture, public policy, gavin newsomSF Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the initiative in June 2009

Mayor Newsom signed the nation’s first mandatory composting law last June, and now that the law is in effect, San Francisco residents can expect to see big green composting bins popping up alongside the black trash bins and blue recycling containers. Many residents have used the green bins for years, but the new law has seen demand for the composting containers skyrocket, with city waste collection companies delivering over 100 per day.

For most residents, the fee for neglecting the compost ordinance will be small –there is a $100 cap for homes and businesses that generate less than one cubic yard of trash each week–but San Franciscans are generally excited about the new law.

If all recyclables and compostables are diverted from landfills, San Francisco could up its recycling rate to 90%. That’s impressive enough, but Mayor Gavin Newsom hopes that the law could push the city to eliminate all landfill waste by 2020. Don’t miss out as we interview Mayor Newsom about this exciting initiative next Wednesday for the final MUST SEE installment of our Green Talks series!


+ San Francisco Signs Mandatory Composting Laws