In a new blog post, San Francisco's mayor and newly announced California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom talked up his city's recycling plan, which is keeping 72 percent of waste out of the city's landfills.San Francisco's waste recovery is up 2 percent compared to last year, an increase the mayor attributes to the 2006 mandatory Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Ordinance.
By requiring builders to recycle debris from construction projects, we were able to divert tens of thousands of new tons of material away from the landfill. This ordinance is unique in that it doesn’t require deposits or bonds, making it small business-friendly and limiting the amount of bureaucracy needed to implement the program.
When it comes to our recycling programs, we’re always in the development phase. In order to meet our ambitious goal of 75 percent recycling by 2010 and zero waste by 2020, we are constantly looking for additional materials to recycle, and for emerging markets to make use of our recyclables.
What's more, Newsom says San Francisco can do even better. The city recently conducted a study and found that about two thirds of the stuff thrown away could have been recycled or composted. To increase the city's recycling rate, Newsom has proposed an ordinance that mandates recycling for all homes, businesses, and schools.