Recent statistics show that more than 900,000 tons of food scraps and green waste has been diverted from landfills since San Francisco's composting program started in 1996. Since 2009, the city made it mandatory for residents and businesses to compost food scraps, yard trimmings and soiled paper. Residents and businesses are provided with green compost carts to dispose of food scraps, yard clippings and soiled paper items like greasy pizza boxes and used paper plates.
Recology, the company that handles San Francisco´s waste and recycling streams, states that the composting program has created a total carbon dioxide emissions benefit of 354,000 metric tons, or an amount equal to offsetting emissions from all vehicles crossing the city´s famous Bay Bridge for 777 days, according to Recology. The program offsets greenhouse gas emissions "by reducing the amount of methane produced in landfills and sequestering carbon in top soil," the company said.
According to Recology CEO Mike Sangiacomo:
These new numbers further illustrate what residents and businesses who actively participate in the compost collection program intuitively understand, namely that placing food scraps and plants in green bins so that these materials are composted instead of going to a landfill is a highly effective way to help protect the environment.
CAW has continuously supported composting and supports AB 34 (Williams) which encourages the development of compost facilities to recycle organic materials.