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Compost or else

Go, San Francisco!

Trash collectors in San Francisco will soon be doing more than just gathering garbage: They’ll be keeping an eye out for people who toss food scraps out with their rubbish.

San Francisco this week passed a mandatory composting law that is believed to be the strictest such ordinance in the nation. Residents will be required to have three color-coded trash bins, including one for recycling, one for trash and a new one for compost — everything from banana peels to coffee grounds.

The law makes San Francisco the leader yet again in environmentally friendly measures, following up on other green initiatives such as banning plastic bags at supermarkets.

Food scraps sent to a landfill decompose fast and turn into methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. Under the new system, collected scraps will be turned into compost that helps area farms and vineyards flourish. The city eventually wants to eliminate waste at landfills by 2020.

Awesome. Houston offers a separate compost pickup, but it’s voluntary and frankly I doubt more than one person out of ten is familiar with it. When the city decides to get serious about increasing recycling rates and cutting down on its landfill use, this is the kind of approach I want it to take. Speaking as someone who has a compost pile in his backyard, the marginal effort it takes to separate this kind of trash from the rest is miniscule. There’s no reason we couldn’t do this, and no reason I can think of that we shouldn’t. Via The American Scene.

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One Comment

  1. Houston doesn’t offer much of anything to those of us unfortunate to live in communities with useless neighborhood associations.

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