Published on June 23rd, 2009 | by Gavin Newsom6
San Francisco Signs Nation's First Mandatory Composting Law
Composting will prevent tons of material from going to the landfill, create healthy soil for our local farms and help us fight global warming.
Today at the Farmer’s Market in front of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building I am signing the nation’s first mandatory composting law. It’s the most comprehensive recycling and composting legislation in the country and the first to require residents and businesses to compost food scraps.
A number of years ago, San Francisco set a lofty green goal—we wanted to divert 75 percent of our resources from the landfill by 2010 and achieve zero waste by 2020. At the time, many people thought our targets were overly ambitious. However, San Francisco is poised to meet these goals. We are currently keeping 72 percent of recyclable material out of our landfill.
We recently conducted a waste-stream analysis and discovered that about two thirds of the garbage people throw away—half a million tons each year—could have been recycled or turned to compost. If we were able to capture everything, we’d be recycling 90 percent—preventing additional waste material from going to the landfill, and creating hundreds of green-collar jobs.