San Francisco Quarterly Newsletter

San Francisco residents and businesses are recycling and composting more material than ever before. Through the curbside recycling program, we collect 650 tons of your bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard each day.  Through the curbside composting program, we collect 800 tons of your food scraps and yard trimmings each day.  Measured in tons per day, curbside composting collection has surpassed curbside recycling collection.

That means San Francisco has reinvented the way it manages trash, embracing composting to keep millions of tons of material out of landfills. Together we have saved trees and other vital resources and reduced upstream environmental impacts from extracting raw materials.

Local vineyards use compost made from San Francisco food scraps to grow mustard seeds and other cover crops to pull carbon out of the atmosphere.

One of the most significant benefits of our collective efforts?  Vineyards that use compost made from food scraps to grow mustard seeds and other cover crops between rows of vines.  Cover crops are not harvested.  Instead, they are grown to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and return it to the soil where it belongs.

New Studies report that using compost to grow cover crops can return more than one ton of carbon per acre per year to the land, and push it deep within the soil.  So the next time you put food scraps in your kitchen compost pail in San Francisco, think about the positive action you’re taking to help address the climate crisis.  As we enter the new decade armed with these insights, let’s take pride in what we’ve achieved together, and renew our commitment to keep up the good work.

Read more about recycling, composting, and reducing the waste we send to landfill in the Recology Quarterly Newsletter.