Food Recycling Program A Major Success in San Francisco

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San Francisco's Recycling Program Requires Food RecyclingSan Francisco’s new food recycling program — the first in the U.S. that requires all food waste from homes, apartments, businesses, and restaurants to be recycled and composted — has been enthusiastically embraced by city residents, officials say.

Although the program was officially launched on Wednesday, city officials say that residents have been recycling food for weeks and are already setting aside about half of the city’s 500 tons of daily food waste.

The city requires residents and businesses to place food scraps in sealed buckets, and then collects the buckets and trucks them to San Francisco’s Organics Annex, where the food waste is composted. The compost is then sold as fertilizer to area farms and vineyards.

Seattle was the first U.S. city to require all households to recycle food waste, but San Francisco’s law covers businesses and apartments.

Jared Blumenthal, the city’s environmental officer, said residents have strongly backed the food recycling plan because — overwhelmed by bad environmental news — this gives them something concrete to do.

“This is not rocket science,” he said. “This is putting some food scraps into a different pile and turning them into compost.”

Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360

[photo credit: Norcal Waste Systems]

About Author

Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

  • http://www.ecosmart.com Zach

    Great to see food scraps going to some type of use rather than just being thrown away! Using the scraps as fertilizer is a great idea.

  • http://aWholesomeWorld.com Patina

    Great news. Thanks for reporting. I recently wrote a piece on my blog about the amount of food wasted in the US and what we can do about it but hearing that cities are taking mass action is awesome.

  • Vicki

    I think it is marvelous. San Fransisco is always innovative! Why aren’t we that way on the East Coast?

    • tori

      i know i think its really cool for san francsico to start the program!!!!!!! :)

  • http://www.pureplanetrecycling.co.uk weee recycling

    Great to see such a scheme. Over here in the UK some local authorities collect food waste some dont, i live in an area that doesnt but 3 miles away they do?? Alot of food waste here is used in energy from waste plants to feed the national grid.

  • http://www.tbcrecycling.com Computer Recycling and Disposal

    If food is being wasted then the waste food should be reprocessed, but the emphasis should be on reducing that waste in the first place – it’s akin to finishing off the food from your dinnerplate (something most of us were taught as children).

  • http://www.ecolamprecycling.co.uk/weee_recycling.html WEEE Recycling

    It is amazing how much low date food can actually be recycled we should have more advice and projects available in the uk