Breaking News: SF Recycling Bill Targets Food Waste

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors just signed into law an ordinance that will require households and businesses to compost. Starting this fall, everyone except those who get waivers must have a recycling, trash and compost bin, with warnings and then fines for noncompliance.

Using the stick instead of the carrot will always rub some people the wrong way, but I’m fine with it here. The environmental stakes are high, image courtesy of SF Recyclingpeople! And if any place is ready for it, it’s San Fran, which has had curbside compost collection for years. 

The possibility of fines are sure to light up the internets, but before we start talking about Big Brother and fears of a food waste fuzz, read this:

“In any scenario there will be repeated notices and phone calls before we even start talking about fines,” said Jared Blumenfeld, head of the city’s Department of the Environment. “We don’t want to fine people.”

City officials would levy any fines, and the legislation doesn’t provide funding for new trash inspectors. “It doesn’t create trash police,” Blumenfeld said.


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  1. dee dee
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I was so excited about the recycling news from San Francisco, I posted the NYTimes article on my Facebook profile. More people are composting in our neck of the woods, but we have some home owner associations that actually don’t allow compost bins or piles in their developments!

  2. Posted June 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the NY Times article on the topic:

    Thumbs down to restrictive home owner associations. Do they let you plant a garden on your own property, or is that forbidden, too?

    And yes, I do see the parallel between a centralized authority dictating behavior–San Fran folks being forced to compost and home owners in certain n’hoods being forced not to. It’s just that I think one’s right and one’s wrong.

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  1. [...] Breaking news that I picked up on Jonathan’s US food waste site is that once summer is over, San Fran residents will be required to sort their food waste. Bye-bye trash can, hello Bokashi bin. [...]

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