Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

Dec 20, 2019

Waste Management, San Francisco

San Francisco committed to eliminating the modern landfill. The idea, concocted in 2002, was to reach a “zero waste” existence by 2020, which “means that we send zero discards to the landfill or high-temperature destruction,” said the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “The city and county of San Francisco believes achieving zero waste is possible.” Does the name Sisyphus come to mind?

An environmental code was developed in 2003, then six years later the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance, which requires everyone in the city to separate recyclables, compostables, and landfill garbage, was passed. Noncompliance is a finable offense.

In addition to mandatory recycling and composting, San Francisco also requires “any site that generates more than 40 cubic yards of waste per week to complete waste audits every three years,” says Waste Dive. Those that fail are “required to hire on-site facilitators at their own expense for one year.” More than 400 sites are subject to the reviews, as well as the $1,000-per-day fines that can be levied on those not meeting the standard.

Despite the efforts and expectations, Politico reported last month that San Francisco is “nowhere close to that goal.” After falling for years, the amount of garbage being sent to landfills has been growing. Officials have tried to push residents into generating less waste by cutting the size of curbside containers by half, from 32 gallons to 16.

As of December 2019, it has still not met the goal. In fact, sensing the inevitable, during September 2018, San Francisco updated the zero waste goals to these two pledges:
    Reduce municipal solid waste generation by 15% by 2030 (reducing what goes to recycling, composting, and trash).
    Reduce disposal to landfill and incineration by 50% by 2030 (reducing what goes in the black trash bins).


Incidentally, According to author and journalist John Tierney, “All the trash generated by Americans for the next 1,000 years would fit on one-tenth of 1% percent of the land available for grazing.” 

Jun 29, 2012

Belfast Sparkling Cider

This drink found in many Chinese restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, dates back to the Gold Rush of 1849. According to the story, gold prospectors and sailors would frequent San Francisco’s bar scene in search of a good time.

The sailors treated the bar girls to what they thought was French champagne, but which was actually Belfast Sparkling Cider, a lightly sweetened drink introduced to the region by Irish refugees who immigrated to the US during the potato famine.

Ship captains apparently paid the bar girls to play along and watched their sailors become intoxicated to the point that it wasn’t a struggle to get them back to sea.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, it can be found in almost every large Chinese restaurant in San Francisco and to retailers throughout Chinatown. Belfast is especially popular in the month of the Chinese New Year.

Jan 13, 2011

What's in a Name

Twitter - A small group of employees from Odeo, the San Francisco podcasting startup where Twitter initially began, had a brainstorming session. They were trying to come up with names that fit with the theme of a mobile phone buzzing in your pocket with an update. After narrowing down the options (which included Jitter and Twitter), they wrote them down, put them in a hat, and let fate decide. Fate decided on Twitter as the name was literally picked out of a hat.

Yahoo - Founders David Filo and Jerry Yang started what would become Yahoo when they were Ph.D. candidates at Stanford University. The project originally consisted of categorized lists of favorite links on the web, which made its original name, “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” at least accurate if not so catchy. Yahoo is actually an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” According to the company, the team chose the name for its definition: “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.”

Jun 22, 2010

Semaphore

Duane used his handy phone to come up with the answer to the question, what do you call it when those sailors talk to each other with flags. Below are the letters A and B

Semaphore telegraph, optical telegraph, shutter telegraph are all names used to describe the passing of information visually. The lights, with shutters that are open and shut in a specific sequence, are also called semaphore telegraph.

In 1792, France set up a network of 556 optical telegraph stations stretching almost 3,000 miles. It used large movable wooden boards and was used for military and national communications until the 1850s.

Semaphore is still used today at sea and is acceptable for emergency communication in daylight or using lighted wands instead of flags, at night.

'Telegraph Hill' in San Francisco is named after the semaphore telegraph which was established there in 1849 to signal the arrival of ships into San Francisco Bay.

Mar 12, 2010

Restaurant Healthcare Charge

The next time you eat in a restaurant in San Francisco, take a closer look at the bill. You may see a new line item there, a "health" fee to cover employees’ healthcare.

The idea is to cover the employers’ mandatory contribution to the City’s "Healthy San Francisco" health-coverage system. The charge is levied on employers, but some crafty restaurants are adding a few dollars or percentage points to each customer’s bill to cover this charge.

Their excuse for assessing this charge separately is to let customers know how much they’re paying for employees’ health coverage. That’s the same excuse hotels use when they add "resort" or "housekeeping" fees to unsuspecting guests’ room bills. Caveat Emptor!