Guest blogger, Chris Choate, VP of Sustainability at Recology, leads us through the dynamic world of creating biofuels.
Recology is driven to find the social, environmental, and economical solution to power our fleet of vehicles with fuel produced from the residual resources (waste material) from your trash. We’ve spent a lot of time evaluating and researching ways to generate and utilize bio-methane from our landfills and anaerobic digesters to power our trucks.
Our solution has proved to be a good one thus far. We’ve found a way to integrate biofuels into our fleet fuel sources by transitioning to alternative fuel equipment and utilizing compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and B20 biodiesel.
Recology continues to partner with the City of San Francisco in an effort to lead the nation in diverting material from landfills to achieve the highest use of all materials. Over 80% of the material diverted is collected through an integrated system of reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. Even with all of these collection processes, over half of the current material going to the landfill is degradable and a good source of biomass material.
Recology is fortunate to have these alternative fuels accessible to us through our collection, recycling, and compost facilities. We not only rely on our recycling efforts to divert and reuse materials, but we rely on the nature of biology to also help our goals of zero waste.
SF Environment created the City’s Zero Waste Plan from our overarching environmental principles that include:
- Reusing materials at a level that is their next best and highest use
- Avoiding high-temperature conversion (incineration)
- Achieving the highest carbon footprint reduction possible
- Employing local and biological processes that mimic nature
Currently, biological processes are used, managed, and exploited to stabilize thousands of tons of organic material a year through our compost programs. It is consistent with Recology’s sustainability goals, and the City’s overarching principles, to further utilize natural processes to produce biodiesel from the City’s waste stream.
Happy Lunar New Year – Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Join Recology in celebrating Chinese New Year at the San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade.
When: February 15, 5:15 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson
For more information, visit www.chineseparade.com/route.asp
Recology Sunset Scavenger and Recology Golden Gate have been collecting recyclables and trash in San Francisco for well over 80 years. We’re excited to celebrate another year of service at the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade on Saturday, February 15th. Our Recology Drill Team and the Recology Dragon and Pearl will make an appearance at this years parade to welcome the Year of the Horse.
The Recology Dragon and Pearl, created by San Francisco artists Dana Albany and Flash Hopkins, is constructed out of 100% recycled materials. As a “tip-of-the-hat” to our history, the Recology Drill Team will be showing the crowd what they can do with a packing can. In the past, they carried these cans on their backs, house-to-house, up and down stairs, and into backyards collecting trash before carrying it back out to the street to dump into the truck. These folks have to be in shape, since each can weighs 40 pounds when empty!
Following the award-winning drill team, will be “Old Red,” an antique garbage truck built in 1948. While “Old Red” was state-of-the-art in the 1940s, today Recology’s entire fleet of modern collection vehicles are powered by clean, alternative fuels such as liquid natural gas and bio-diesel.
Last in line will be the “Green DeMartini,” an antique truck from 1954. This truck collected materials from the streets of San Francisco for over 30 years!
The Recology Family invites you to celebrate Lunar New Year with us! GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!
Parade route map:
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Yulia Pinkusevich, Stephanie Syjuco, and student artist Brittany Watkins on Friday, January 24, from 5-9pm and Saturday, January 25, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, January 28, from 5-7pm. An artist panel discussion will follow at 7pm at 401 Tunnel Avenue. This exhibition will be the culmination of four months of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.
Yulia Pinkusevich: The Glory of a Tool is Seldom Judged by Its Handle
An important part of Yulia Pinkusevich’s practice involves the creation of large-scale monochromic paintings and drawings, often made directly on walls that engage with architecture and play with spatial perception. While at Recology she has continued this practice, but has also “drawn” with the duality of light and shadow, constructing projection boxes that contain objects that cast images on the walls of the studio’s back room. The results are visually complex cityscapes—large darkened outlines of high-rises and other familiar urban forms. While it is obvious this is a city, exactly what city this might be is less clear, as the architecture seems a cross between the futuristic and the familiar. It is no wonder that these forms are a bit enigmatic; they are created using capacitors and heat sinks pulled from common electronic devises—devices we interact with every day, but whose working components are far less familiar.
Pinkusevich examines the role of architecture in our daily lives and how it frames, transects, and obscures the world around us, affecting our spatial perception and cognitive understanding. Her use of components from computers and televisions—technologies that also shape our perception of the world—is an apt metaphor. Her work also addresses broader issues related to global urbanization and labor. The fabrication of electronics and other consumer goods increasingly has societal and environmental consequences when formerly rural areas become sites of rapidly built factories and worker housing. The long-term impact this instant architecture will have is only beginning to be understood. Pinkusevich’s working process also provided a more direct connection to labor. She discovered that there was a specific order to disassembling the electronics and realized that she was actually reversing the process of the people who put these components together. Other sculptural works speak to this more personal view of labor and tie what is built to the anonymous builders, people whose labor—whether used for the construction of an apartment block or a pair of jeans—is increasingly taken for granted along with the resources used to fuel our disposable lifestyles.
Born and raised in the Ukraine, Pinkusevich holds a BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from Stanford University. She has been the recipient of a Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship in Sausalito, a Cite Des Arts International Studio Residency in Paris, and a Helen Wurlitzer Foundation Residency Grant in Taos, New Mexico. She has exhibited primarily in San Francisco, New York and Santa Fe and her work is in the collection of Google, Inc. and the city of Albuquerque.
Stephanie Syjuco: Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals)
For Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals), Stephanie Syjuco takes beloved archetypes of modernist furniture and reproduces them dump-style to explore a range of ideas related to production, consumption, class, and economies. Continuing her investigation of copies and counterfeits, her George Nelson tables and Verner Panton lamps speak to how today’s reproductions are generations removed from their furniture forbearers. These iconic objects have been knocked-off or borrowed from so often that many people may think they originated at Ikea or Crate and Barrel. By exploring these forms, questions arise as to the original intent behind the designs and their meaning in today’s world where the clean lines of modern furniture often serve as signifiers of an affluent, idealized lifestyle.
Using what she describes as a “shanty-like” aesthetic, Syjuco’s reproductions are certainly not meant to fool anyone or be functional. Instead, they bring the sleek, modern ideal into collision with the scavenged and cobbled-together through the immediate use of materials in rudimentary constructions. The works speak to the shoddy materials and cheap labor used to produce affordable contemporary modern furniture, and like the remnants of a dying civilization, suggest societal and environmental collapse. Calling on her own memories of the Philippines where International Style buildings stood alongside slums and shanties, Syjuco’s work also references Modernism’s long and complicated relationship to developing countries—how decades ago these new urban spaces adapted and formed their own versions of Modernist architecture which in many cases are now dilapidated signs of the promise of utopian progress.
Syjuco is an assistant professor in Sculpture at the University of California at Berkeley. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She received an MFA from Stanford University and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has exhibited internationally including at venues in Paris, Manila, Berlin, and Bangkok. She is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.
Brittany Watkins: The Time Objects Tell
During her residency, Brittany Watkins has collected objects such as window blinds, wire and inner tubes, and has shredded, knotted, woven and bent them to create abstract sculptural works. By dramatically altering their forms, Watkins has liberated these common items from their intended uses and explores their hidden potential. Watkins’ repetitive and time-intensive working process provides intimacy with the materials, and the resulting sculptures speak to connections between the inanimate and the animate. Suggestive of natural or biological forms, her works may also prompt viewers to assign more personal, human qualities to these objects.
For her exhibition, Watkins will present a large-scale sculpture as the centerpiece of an installation that will include other smaller, related works. Designed to be entered, this central piece will enable viewers to step inside, be engulfed by the materials, and have the same sort of personal experience with them that the artist did when making the work. Those that enter will also be confronted with their own physicality within a space that itself references the body. The other small pieces that compose this sculptural ecosystem serve to illustrate the versatility and mutability of the materials. They are grounded, but also loop, drape, and expand out, adapting as required to unseen forces.
Watkins is a graduate student at the California College of the Arts. She received her BFA from Montana State University with an emphasis in sculpture. She has exhibited at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, the International Sculpture Center Temporary Space in Chicago, and the IEI Austin Gallery in Texas. Her work was published in the October 2011 issue of International Sculpture.
About the Recology Artist in Residence Program
Since 1990, the Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco has encouraged the conservation of natural resources while instilling a greater appreciation for art and the environment in children and adults. This one-of-a-kind program enables artists to work in studio space on site for four months, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public about reuse and their residency experiences. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.
Reception- Friday, January 24, 2014, 5-9pm
Reception-Saturday, January 25, 2014, 1-3pm
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 5-7pm
Artist panel discussion- Tuesday, January 28, 7pm
Where: Art Studio located at 503 Tunnel Ave. and Environmental Learning Center Gallery at 401 Tunnel Ave., San Francisco, CA
Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible. http://www.recologysf.com/AIR
Civicorps, a non-profit organization located in Oakland, offers job training and career counseling to participants of their Environmental Job Training Program.
William Montoya and Fua Fatai, clients of Oakland’s Civicorps, are learning the skills needed to recycle restaurant wastes.
The food waste they collect in Oakland, currently being composted – will soon go to the Eastbay Municipal Utilities District (MUD) Oakland sewage treatment plant.
“We realized that can recycle kind of these new urban wastes and do it in a way that provides us with renewable energy at the same time,” says Andrea Pook, Eastbay MUD Spokeswoman.
When those food scraps are digested, the methane gas that comes out of them goes into a turbine which can create enough power for 2500 homes.
“At the same time, we develop a product called bio-solid which is the digested solid material and that’s use for agricultural fertilizer as well as alternative cover at landfills,” said Jackie Kepke, Eastbay MUD’s Environmental Services Manager.
For Montoya and Fatai, it’s nothing less than life changing.
“I see this as a stepping stone, you know, and just opening up doors for me in the future. It’s exciting to know that I’m part of something big,” said Fatai.
“This program actually saved me from doing a lot of bad stuff. I focus on my future, my family, my son,” Montoya said.
Civicorps’ Bruce Groulx is proud of this program and these men.
“We take society’s waste, recycle it, as well as recycle young people’s lives,” he said.
They are lives ultimately recycled by the clients’ own self-worth.
Recology San Mateo County (RSMC) is starting their annual Coats for Kids collection program of new and gently used donated coats, from Monday, November 4th through Friday, November 8th.
Drivers from RSMC will collect coats that have been placed in a clear plastic bag and marked “Coats for Kids” at the curbs from residential homes on their collection day in:
· East Palo Alto
· Foster City
· Menlo Park
· North Fair Oaks
· Redwood City
· San Carlos
· San Mateo
· San Mateo County (county “pockets” serviced by Recology San Mateo County)
· West Bay Sanitary District
Collection containers labeled “Coats for Kids” will also be placed at various locations throughout participating cities from Monday, November 4th through Friday, November 15th. Please visit http://www.recologysanmateocounty.com/coats_for_kids.php for a list of drop off locations.
RSMC will deliver all of the donated coats to local non-profit agencies for distribution to those in need of a warm coat during the cold weather season.
Thanks for being part of this year’s Coats for Kids drive in San Mateo County!
Sponsored by Recology San Bruno and the City of San Bruno
The Coats For Kids Coat drive has started! Help someone in San Mateo County stay warm this winter. Donate new or clean, gently used coats from infant to adult sizes.
Drop off your coats at the collection bin at the San Bruno farmers’ market booth this Sunday!
Can’t make it to the Farmer’s Market this Sunday? There are other ways to participate.
Drop-off Locations (October 1st – October 31st):
Busy Baker 444 San Mateo Avenue
Crystal Springs Terrace Apt, office – 2000 Crystal Springs Rd
First Filipino American Church 461 Linden Avenue
La Petite Baleen Swimming School – 434 San Mateo Avenue
Marshall Realty – 683 Jenevein Avenue
Peninsula Place Condos Club House – 1125 Cherry Avenue
Prudential California Realty – 180 El Camino Real
San Bruno Cable – 398 El Camino Real
San Bruno Chamber of Commerce – 618 San Mateo Avenue
San Bruno City Hall – 567 El Camino Real
San Bruno Fire Department – 555 El Camino Real
San Bruno Library – 701 W. Angus Avenue
San Bruno Recreation Center – 251 City Park Way
Shelter Creek Condo Club House – 701 Shelter Creek Lane
Tony’s Auto Repair – 601 Kains Avenue
October 21st – 25th, Recology San Bruno will collect coats in clearly marked bags placed curbside on your regular garbage day.
Saturday, October 26th –8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, bring your coats to the AYSO soccer fields at the former Crestmoor High for Make a Difference Day
Coat Give Away Day
Date & Time:Thursday, November 21st, 4:00-7:00PM
Where:National Guard Armory, 455 3rd Avenue
All are welcome! Limit ONE coat per person. Children MUST be present to receive a coat.
Coats for Kids is made possible by:
* California National Guard
* Our wonderful volunteers
* San Bruno residents and businesses
* San Bruno donation sites
Volunteer at Coat Give Away Day!
Would you like to help children and their families find a new warm coat for the winter?
Please contact Recology San Bruno at 650-583-8536 for more information.
Our Recology San Mateo County volunteers participated in the 29th Annual San Mateo Bayfront Clean Up. Volunteers picked up litter along the Bayfront Trail, San Mateo Creek, Marina Lagoon and Tidelines Park. Most of the materials found were cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic bags, and plastic water bottles. There were also some very interesting finds in our bay… tires, shopping carts, chairs, and even toys!
“The clean up was a great bonding time with the family and a gratifying experience to be able to help in keeping the environment clean.”
- Sheila, Recology San Mateo County employee-owner
Saturday, September 21
9AM – noon
Are you looking for something to do tomorrow? Join us for the Coastal Cleanup tomorrow morning.
Check out the links below to register and participate!
Event Registration, Materials & Resources
- Includes information on:
- 2012 stats & more about Coastal Cleanup Day
- Sponsors & Site Captains
- Downloadable Posters & Waiver Forms
Want to coordinate a team? Visit CCC: www.coastforyou.org
- Coordinators Corner – http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/coordinators/ (includes Site Captain Packet, forms, etc)
Recology & iMRF: http://www.recologysf.com
Get up to speed on the reasons to participate:
- What’s so Bad about Marine Debris? – http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/marinedebris.html
- Synthetic Sea – http://www.algalita.org/movs/pelagic_plastic_mov.html – the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which explores the problem of plastic ocean debris and helps explain some of the reasons why Coastal Cleanup Day is so important.