SF's Recycling Revolution
The Board of Supervisors in San Francisco has recently voted for the most vigorous recycling laws in the United States. The new set of laws, which involves separating waste into three different colored receptacles, will take full effect in fall, 2009. Fines for the failure to have receptacles range from $100-500, although a cessation on fines lasting until July 2011 will be put in place for specific properties in an effort to assist people getting used to the new program.
The plan is being deemed as “an effective way to cut about two-thirds of the 618,000 tons of waste the city sent to landfill in 2007.” Another way San Francisco is easing the new recycling revolution is by having garbage collectors place tags on trash containers if a discrepancy in sorting is spotted, rather than automatically fining.
Some critics worry the city is creating “trash police” and fear the new campaign is a reflection of “Big Brother.” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, an ally of Mayor Gavin Newsom, fears promises of waiving fines will be broken. Newsom stands by his decision though, believing the change will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of incinerators. The move will not only make San Francisco cleaner, but will also save a fair amount of energy, an amount that could increase, depending on how the campaign works out. Presently, the city redirects 72% of its trash, which is the greatest amount in the US. If Newsom’s new laws are effective, this number could increase to 90%.
Story suggested by Jessica Harris
Image: "Trash Receptacles" by Salim Virji on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.Tweet