Mandatory Composting Begins in San Francisco Today

Beginning today, the city of San Francisco will require both businesses and residences to compost food scraps and biodegradable products or risk a fine for not properly sorting their garbage. While other cities require recycling service and participation, the law, which Mayor Gavin Newsom signed into effect in June, is the first nationwide to require the collection of food scraps and other compostables.

A study by the Department of the Environment found that 36 percent of what San Francisco sends to landfills is compostable, primarily food scraps, and 31 percent is recyclable — which is mostly paper. Seeing that SF already has an impressive 72 percent recycling rate, the legislation could send that rate soaring to 90 percent.

To facilitate the program, the city will offer free green compost carts to apartment buildings and businesses, as well as free kitchen pails for renters. Fines will be capped at $100 and are meant primarily to raise public awareness and encourage compliance. Has your city or town made any moves to require composting? Has your city had success with any recycling fines or mandates? Tell me by commenting below!

Source: Flickr User MayorGavinNewsom

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