Best Practices

Energy Efficiency

Renewable Energy

Climate Change

Healthy Food Systems

Clean Air

Public Transportation

Clean Vehicles

Reducing Congestion

Green Building

Urban Planning

Green Jobs

Public Transportation

Clean Vehicles

Reducing Congestion

Parks

Habitat Restoration

Wildlife

Zero Waste

Manufacturer Responsibility

Consumer Responsibility

Water Access & Efficiency

Source Water Protection

Waste Water Reduction

Connect!



WASTE REDUCTION BEST PRACTICE

waste reduction best practiceMandatory Recycling & Composting

San Francisco, CA

Purpose

Mandatory Recycling and Composting
Photo source: wormgals.com

To ensure proper disposal of recyclables, compostables and trash and meet aggressive waste reduction goals.

Outcomes

In 2009, San Francisco diverted 78% of its waste. This exceeds the Board of Supervisors goal of 75% landfill diversion by 2010.  The City collects approximately 600 tons of compost per day. As of 2011, all single family households (100,000 households) and sixty percent of the 16,500 multi-family buildings (apartment buildings with more than six units, housing 200,000 households) had access to weekly compost collection. 

Background & Summary

In 2009, San Francisco enacted the most comprehensive mandatory recycling and composting legislation in the nation. It was the first to require composting.

A citywide waste audit disclosed that 36% of material still being sent to landfills from San Francisco is compostable, and 31% recyclable. To ensure proper disposal, the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance requires everyone in San Francisco to separate his or her refuse. No one may mix recyclables, compostables or trash, or deposit refuse of one type in a collection container designated for another type. All properties are required to maintain and pay for adequate refuse service. Additionally, food vendors that provide disposable food service ware or to go containers must have appropriate containers for recyclables, compostables and trash for use by customers and visitors. Any resident or business owner/manager who fails to provide and maintain adequate service may be subject to fines, fees and liens. The City has not employed any of these enforcement actions thus far.

Public Outreach & Education:
Notifications are sent to all residents, ratepayers and businesses. The Department of the Environment partners with collectors to provide free consultation, container labels, signage, educational materials, and any further assistance needed.

Legal Issues:
Any resident or business owner/manager who fails to provide and maintain adequate service may be subject to fines, fees and liens.

Fiscal Impacts

Generally, residential and commercial ratepayers will save money by separating recyclables and compostables and subscribing to minimum trash collection. In 2011, new rates may be proposed to fund specialized sorting technologies for hard-to-handle refuse streams.

Contact for This Best Practice

Name: Jack Macy
Job Title: Commercial Zero Waste Coordinator
Jurisdiction: City and County of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 355-3751
Email: Jack.Macy@sfgov.org

Last updated January 22, 2014

RESOURCES FOR
THIS BEST PRACTICE

WASTE REDUCTION BEST PRACTICES

Zero Waste

Manufacturer Responsibility

Consumer Responsibility