San Francisco, California achieved a remarkable diversion rate of 80% which is higher than any other U.S. city and they plan to be a zero-waste city by 2020! Talk about an extreme amount of planning, consideration and most importantly a great shift in habits.
Since 2009 the city’s municipal ordinance requires city-wide source separation of all organic materials, that means that urban food waste and composting measures were put into effect. There are also three bins for composting, recycling and lastly their (sometimes smaller) trash cart! Besides requiring San Franciscans to contribute food waste to compost, and the three bins which encourage recycling, the third effective phenomenon that has been seen in San Francisco is a reduction in the amount of convenience items such as plastic bags that shoppers use.
Now, the city has 20% more waste diversion to go to reach their goal of zero waste and our source has a good point that this last bit might be the most challenging. Although San Francisco has the right incentives, technology, habits and laws, there are still more convenience items in their waste steam that will be key in achieving zero waste.
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Our recent blog posts about San Francisco working towards zero waste: