June 20 - You Can Compost in a Big City, Says SF's Melanie Nutter

Can a large city successfully implement a composting program? Yes, says Melanie Nutter, San Francisco’s Director of the Department of Environment. In a CNN OpEd, Nutter applauds NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans to implement a citywide composting program beginning next year.

A thriving composting and recycling effort in San Francisco has not only been good for the environment, but also good for the economy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recycling creates nearly five times as many jobs as sending material to a landfill. A study from the Blue Green Alliance also states that if we increased our recycling rate to 75%, 2.3 million jobs would be created nationwide.

According to Nutter, since San Francisco implemented its mandatory composting program in 2009, composting has increased by more than 50 percent. The city now collects more than 600 tons per day of compost, up from 400 tons before the program began.

She offers the following tips for implementing a successful municipal program:

  • Set a goal
  • Make composting simple
  • Teach the Next Generation

Find out more about the environmental and economic benefits of composting.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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