San Francisco Makes Composting City Law

San Francisco’s mandatory city-wide composting program becomes official city ordinance today.

From Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle:

The law, the most comprehensive in the country, is an aggressive push by Mayor Gavin Newsom to cut greenhouse gas emissions, return carbon to the soil, and have the city sending nothing to landfills or incinerators by 2020.

Reported today on ABC 7:

“(Composting is) helping us keep things out of landfills and it’s also return nutrients to the soil and help prevent global warming,” San Francisco Department of the Environment spokesperson Jean Walsh said.

Earlier today from NPR’s Morning Edition:

After picking up curbside food scraps, garbage trucks head to the south of the city to the Organics Annex, the heart of the citywide food waste operation.

Jared Blumenfeld, the city’s environmental officer, says the Organic Annex is already processing about half of the city’s food waste, which is more than 500 tons per day.

“You can see a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, old apples, rotten cabbages,” Blumenfeld says. “You get a kind of vivid picture here of what’s being thrown away.”

San Francisco turns all of that food refuse into compost, which is then sold to Bay Area farms and vineyards. The program is the latest effort in one of the most aggressive recycling campaigns in the nation. San Francisco currently keeps 72 percent of its garbage stream out of the landfill by recycling cans, bottles, construction material and cooking oil. Blumenfeld says that even though the program officially launches Wednesday, he’s not surprised by how many people are already fully participating.

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