JUNE 2008

San Francisco operates more recycling than garbage trucks

San Francisco’s garbage and recycling collection companies operate more recycling than garbage trucks. The combined fleet of Sunset Scavenger and Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling includes 321 collection trucks, 174 recycling and 147 garbage. All vehicles run on alternative fuel.

As the two companies replace older vehicles, recycling trucks will outnumber garbage trucks 2 to 1.

“Where others see garbage we see recycling,” said Crosetti, a collector with 27 years experience.

The standard (black) garbage cart in San Francisco holds 32 gallons. The new standard for (blue) recycling carts is 64 gallons. Bigger recycling carts provide more opportunities for residents and businesses to recycle.

More people are using (green) compost carts to participate in the food scrap compost collection program. At most houses in San Francisco, residents now place food scraps in their green cart.

SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc., which operates two large recycling facilities in San Francisco, is adding 24 sorters to ensure more materials get recycled.

The new jobs will be split between Recycle Central, which sorts bottles, cans, and paper, and the integrated Material Recover Facility (iMRF) a plant that recycles construction debris including wood, metal, and sheetrock.

San Francisco’s curbside recycling program has been expanded to accept all “rigid” plastics, including all plastic tubs and lids, yogurt and clamshell containers (clean, without food or liquids), cups, buckets, plant containers, and other non-film plastics.

As long as an item is made only of rigid plastic – not a plastic bag, other film plastic or Styrofoam – it can go into in the (blue) recycling cart.

Even plastic toys will be accepted as long as they have no metal parts, batteries, circuit boards or wiring.

Colorful advertisements on trucks, city buses, and bus shelters encouraging residents and businesses to recycle and compost are popping up all over San Francisco.

One ad features large glass bottles and reads “Recycle: Be a glass act!” Another shows large red raspberries above the words “Composting: A berry good idea!”

A campaign reminding people that even large appliances and office equipment can be recycled shows an old console TV and reads “The Smithsonian already has one / RecycleMyJunk.com.

The ads are efforts to boost recycling and send less waste to landfill disposal.