Showing posts with label Waste Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Waste Management. 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.”