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Mayor Lee celebrates San Francisco’s composting achievements

March 28, 2012

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced San Francisco reached a major environmental milestone last November having collected a million tons of compostable material through Recology’s green bin program, and today, the millionth ton returns to San Francisco to be applied as nutrient-rich compost to fertilize gardens and grow healthy, organic foods.

“San Francisco is leading the way in sustainability policy and this composting achievement is another reason why we are the ‘Greenest City in North America,’” said Mayor Lee. “Recology has been a leading partner for our composting efforts and this is the ultimate full-circle moment in sustainability. Thanks to local community farmers, especially those who volunteer at Alemany Farm, for providing healthy food to our communities, fostering environmental education and promoting green jobs.”

San Francisco diverts 78 percent of all waste generated in the City away from landfill disposal through source reduction, reuse, and recycling & composting programs. By working together, the City, Recology and the San Francisco Department of Environment have been able to provide some of the most innovative and advanced waste reduction programs in the country. These programs have landed San Francisco the honor of being named the Greenest City in North America and a perfect score for resource recovery and recycling category in the 2011 Siemens Green City Index. The City’s easy-to-use, readily available programs such as the curbside green bin program are shaping the country’s approach to waste.

“Residents and businesses have embraced the City’s goal of Zero Waste and are actively composting their coffee grounds, food scraps and plant cuttings,” said San Francisco Environment Director Melanie Nutter. “The compost program not only gets us one step closer to our goal of Zero Waste by 2020, it’s also a critical component in reducing carbon emissions around the Bay Area.”

“As a leading partner for Recology’s recycling and composting program, Recreation and Park is one of the City’s biggest producers of green waste,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We know that when we compost our waste, we can recycle it to better our park system. This is a great way to greener parks for all San Franciscans.”

The composting program alone has diverted one million tons of waste from landfill disposal. By reducing methane, a potent greenhouse gas produced in landfills and by sequestering carbon in the topsoil of local farms, the program has created a total carbon dioxide equivalent benefit of more than 305,944 metric tons – equal to offsetting emissions from all vehicles crossing the Bay Bridge for two years (greenhouse gas offsets based on a protocol set by the Climate Action Reserve).

“We truly believe in the work we do every day at Recology – not just providing good service to San Francisco homes and business – but in building partnerships with our neighbors and giving back to our community,” said Recology President & CEO Mike Sangiacomo. “As a San Francisco based company we take great pride in leading the country in resource recovery – let’s keep the great momentum going.”

In continuation of the celebration, Recology will also be hosting a free compost giveaway on Saturday, March 31st at four locations throughout San Francisco. Since its inception in 1996, the green bin composting program has converted City food scraps, plant trimmings and soiled paper into over 600,000 cubic yards of finished compost – a soil amendment that helps local farmers grow healthy, sustainable food.

The Great Compost Giveaway
Saturday, March 31stfrom 8:00am – 12:00 noon, Recology will be offering up to 5 gallons of FREE mixed compost to each resident at four locations across San Francisco while supply last:
·        Alemany Farm, 700 Alemany Boulevard, off Interstate 280 South
·        Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Ferry Building at the Embarcadero (foot traffic only)
·        McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, John F. Shelley Drive at Mansell Street
·        Ocean Beach Parking Lot, 950 Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Fulton Street
This is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bucket) event.

For more information

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