Recycling Economics: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Posted in Diversion, Recology, Recycling, Resource Recovery, Waste Reduction by ErinAtRecology on April 28, 2015

Recology Recyclables
John Porter, Recology Guest Blogger

San Francisco Region Group Controller

Since I started at Recology a few years ago, one of the most common questions I receive surrounds both the environmental and economic impact of recycling. It’s usually in some form of: “How could the environmental and financial costs of sorting, shipping and processing of recyclables be favorable to simply sending the material to the landfill?”

The answer to this question is based on the cost and environmental impact of recycling facility operations – sorting recyclables and shipping the material for processing so they can be reintroduced to the market. From a cost perspective, can these efforts and the resources used be advantageous to sending the material to the landfill? Yes, both financially and environmentally.

That said there are two important considerations that must be included in the discussion:

The first is evaluating the difference between producing new products from recycled versus virgin material. Recycling aluminum, for example, can reduce energy consumption by as much as 95%. Savings for other materials are lower, but still substantial: about 70% for plastics, 60% for steel, 40% for paper, and 30% for glass. (1) In all cases, the energy savings are significant and well worth the effort to recover them.

The second are externalities, which are the un-priced, outside benefits that recycling produces. These include decreased air pollution from mills and factories, less water contamination from landfills, and reduced resource consumption. All of which have a financial and environmental cost. The process for obtaining and processing virgin materials is not often associated with recycling. We all know that mining, drilling and logging are activities that are detrimental to the environment, but since we aren’t paying for them on our monthly garbage bill, these factors are oftentimes overlooked.

When we really delve into the economics of recycling, it’s easier to understand if we look at the big picture.  The energy used to separate and process our recyclable material is offset by the amount of energy it would take to extract virgin materials and create new products. So, there is much more to consider than the cost we see on our garbage bills, and it also makes a lot of sense to think about our garbage as materials or commodities to be re-used in the future.

(1)” The truth about recycling“, The Economist, June 2007

Funky Family Restaurant, “Squeeze In,” Opens in Redwood City with 88% Diversion

Posted in Community, Composting, Diversion, Recycling, San Mateo County, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on March 25, 2015

IMG_4129Blog post courtesy of Recology San Mateo County Waste Zero Specialist, Angela Goebel.

“You’re sitting at our table,” says co-owner Rickey Martinez as I sit down with him, his wife Amanda, and Recology Waste Zero Specialist, Misty McKinney. The restaurant’s walls are filled with miscellaneous bric-a-brac and colorful aliens, so it isn’t surprising that the table has blended in. I look down and notice the table is filled with their photos, tickets, and other memorabilia you might find in a scrap book.

“We had a guest, he makes these. So if you look here, this is me when I was a long-haired hippie. This is our wedding invitation. We did a destination wedding in Hawaii. Pictures from our lives. A letter from Senator Harry Reid, welcoming me to the PR field when I was doing that a few years ago. We’ve had a fun ride. Neither of us thought we’d be restaurateurs.”

Amanda and Rickey begin telling me the story of how they came to open the new Redwood City Squeeze In. In Rickey’s family, restaurants became the stage for love, dreams, and community. In the 1950s, Rickey’s grandmother opened a restaurant in Upland, California called The Super. His aunts and uncles worked at The Super before and after school, and eventually it was where his mother met his father.

My mother waited on my dad,” he says, “And my dad left her a penny as tip because he thought the service was lacking. They didn’t know from one another until years later when they ended up working together at another restaurant. She mentioned The Super, so my dad said, ‘Oh yeah, I ate there once. The service was lousy; I left the waitress a penny.’ And she responded, ‘That was me! I was the waitress! How could you do that?’ My parents owned a restaurant when I was growing up. I guess it was only a matter of time before I did.

The first Squeeze In began by flipping omelettes in Truckee, California in 1974. The namesake came from how guests would have to squeeze in to sit at a table, since the restaurant was only a little over ten feet wide. At the time, Rickey’s Aunt Misty and Uncle Gary would drive up from Reno to eat at the original Squeeze In restaurant in 1979. When Aunt Misty and Uncle Gary first started thinking about owning a restaurant, they didn’t want just any restaurant, they wanted to own the Squeeze In. Aunt Misty had the opportunity to meet the owners of the Squeeze In, whom she told, “I love your place. If you sell it to anybody, you have to sell it to me.”
In 2003, Rickey’s Aunt Misty and Uncle Gary went all in on their dream. They quit their jobs and purchased the Squeeze In. In 2005, Rickey went up to Tahoe for his cousin Shila’s wedding, and he helped out at the restaurant for the week. “Low and behold,” says Rickey, “Amanda was working there at the same time. We met and fell in love.”

Love was also in the air for foodies, and in 2010 the Food Network approached the Squeeze In to do a special on restaurants that love their guests. To their surprise, Bobby Flay rolled up in a blizzard to challenge them to a Throwdown. The menu, which dates back to the 1970s, features dozens of items that are named after Truckee locals and family members. The Food Network helped them pare it back a bit, and the menu gained the addition of a newly inspired omelette, the Spanish Flay.

The restaurant began growing and opening new locations in 2008. “People used to drive from miles and miles around, and fly in for vacation every year and have to go to the Squeeze In. So that got the ball rolling,” explains Rickey. Last year, the yoga studio a couple doors down approached them about opening a new location in Redwood City. The momentum grew; it was clear the community wanted their own Squeeze In.

IMG_4130Amanda and Rickey Martinez went a step further when they opened their Redwood City location this month. When Waste Zero Specialist, Misty McKinney, contacted them to assist in implementing a new garbage and recycling program, they decided to give composting a try. “We thought,” Rickey reflected, “we need to minimize the waste.”

“It’s good for the environment,” joined Amanda.

“And it’s good for business,” agreed Rickey. “There was a learning curve the first couple of days. It’s only been a week, and we’ve got a firm grasp on it. So obviously it’s good for us because we aren’t paying as much for trash, but the bigger picture is we are reducing our carbon footprint on the world. When we go to sleep at night, we can rest knowing that we did our part. I think that if every other business continues to do their part, it will help out in the long run. We won’t have to have all these landfills. As much as you want to give us the credit, Recology have given us the tools and the assistance needed to make it as smooth a transition as it needed to be.”

The Redwood City Squeeze In’s official opening is March 30th. There will be a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce at 2pm.

Recycling and Composting for the Greater Good

Posted in Community, Composting, Diversion by ErinAtRecology on March 16, 2015




Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Exhibitions: Work by Kara Maria, Imin Yeh and Matthew Goldberg

Posted in Community, Events, Recology, Recycling, San Francisco, WASTE ZERO, You Should Know... by art at the dump on January 16, 2015

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Kara Maria, Imin Yeh and student artist Matthew Goldberg on Friday, January 23, from 5-9pm and Saturday, January 24, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, January 27, from 5-7pm, with a gallery walk-through with the artists at 6:30pm. 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.

Kara Maria

Kara Maria: A Trash Menagerie
Painter Kara Maria combines abstraction and representation to address subjects that range from the personal to the political. During her residency she has turned her focus to her immediate environment, making work in response to the Recology site. Using found stretched canvases, including amateur paintings and digitally printed, mass-produced artwork from Ikea, Maria has overpainted the works with recycled acrylic paint from the Household Hazardous Waste Program. The abstract portions of her paintings speak to the environment of the Recology facility, a constantly churning and tumultuous place whose frenetic nature is conveyed in Maria’s disjointed shapes and vibrant colors. The representational portions of her work reflect another aspect of the facility—the living creatures that inhabit or pass through the site. Interspersed within her paintings are detailed renderings of seagulls, raccoons, hawks, and other animals. …Read more

Imin Yeh

Imin Yeh: Goldbricking 
Used in labor, “goldbricking” is a term that means pretending to be productive. Its origins are in trickery and the act of conning someone by painting a brick gold. Though it could hardly describe Yeh’s dedicated work ethic, its use suggests a wry joke about her studio practice which is characterized by labor-intensive and often repetitive processes. Yeh’s art has consistently explored issues of labor and production. While at Recology she has been struck by the volume of corporate waste, and has scavenged the detritus of businesses and offices. Trade show banners have been sliced up and coated with shades of white house paint, their marketing jargon still ever so slightly visible, alluding to the transient nature of their messages. From discarded hotel uniforms, Yeh has created a textile work of monochromatic, geometric forms. Slight variations in the shade and texture of the fabrics reflect the wear and laundering of each garment, and are suggestive of the individual experiences of each worker. …Read more

Matthew Goldberg

Matthew Goldberg: Space Trash, Boomerang! 
What would happen if our trash was launched into space in a misguided attempt to rid the planet of waste, only to orbit and return to earth? This is the premise for the artwork Matthew Goldberg has made during his Recology residency. In sculpture, photography, collage, and installation, he explores trash as an extraterrestrial force—both familiar and foreign, from the past and seemingly also from the future. Says Goldberg, “The narrative is a fantasy—much like our perceptions of space and much like the general public’s perception of a ‘dump’ facility I have encountered when explaining this program.” Music is another outcome of his residency, which will be performed live by the appropriately named Sputnik (Goldberg and his brother) at the exhibition reception….Read more 

About the Artist in Residence Program
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind program established in 1990 to encourage the conservation of natural resources and instill a greater appreciation for the environment and art in children and adults. Artists work for four months in studio space on site, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually, June through August.

Friday, January 23, 2015, 5-9pm
Saturday, January 24, 2015, 1-3pm

Additional viewing hours
Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 5-7pm with gallery walk-through with artists at 6:30pm

Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.

Art Studio at 503 Tunnel Ave. and Environmental Learning Center Gallery at 401 Tunnel Ave.

From Downtown San Francisco/East Bay-
Go south on Highway 101 and exit at “Candlestick Park/Tunnel Ave.” After the stop sign, continue straight on Beatty Rd. Turn right on Tunnel Ave.

From the Peninsula-
Go north on Highway 101 and exit at the first “Candlestick Park” off-ramp. Stay in the left lane and take the first left toward the stop sign. Turn left at the stop sign onto Alanna Way and go under the freeway. At the next stop sign, turn right on Beatty Rd. Turn right on Tunnel Ave.

Public Transit-
The “T” Third St. streetcar and bus lines 9 and 9x stop at Bayshore Blvd. and Arleta Ave. (three blocks away). The Caltrain “Bayshore Station” stop is directly across the street from our facility.


2014 Recology Highlights

Posted in Uncategorized by ErinAtRecology on December 31, 2014

A Year in Review

This year proved to be a meaningful year for Recology and environmentalists alike. In addition to signing the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags – SB 270 – California Governor Jerry Brown also signed AB 1826, requiring commercial businesses to recycle their organics beginning spring 2016.

Recology has taken on many great projects this year, and many more are continuing in 2015. This year we’ve ramped up recycling programs in a variety of service areas, including clothing and textile curbside recycling and pickup, and a new organics collection program in San Bruno. Textile recycling programs even made it to Outside Lands Music Festival!

Most notably, Recology has opened a brand new (and very shiny) Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Seattle, and have new processing facilities scheduled to begin operations in 2015.

Check out a few more of our 2014 highlights:

  • 1545209_10153766887980641_1100940645_n (1)The Recology team and SF Animal Care and Control saw Gem off to her new home in January 2014. Gem – the tiny three-month-old female poodle puppy rescued from the recycling center by Recology workers before Christmas last year – found a new home and a happy ending.
  • Quick thinking Recology driver, Mike Jones, rescues a man after he is loaded into a recycling truck. The man was sleeping in a Recology debris box when he fell into the truck on collection day. Jones heard the man banging on the truck, and then swiftly stopped the compactor and drove to the nearest fire station. The man survived with minor injuries.
  • San Francisco becomes the first major city to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. Within the next 4 years, plastic water bottles (21 ounces or less) will be phased out of the city.
  • NBC Bay Area featured Recology driver, Dave Franzoia, who has worked at Recology for over 20 years. Twice a week for 21 years, Recology driver, Dave Franzoia, maneuvered up and down the steep stairways of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill.Recology Volunteers
  • Recology coordinated many successful volunteer events, from Seattle and Portland down to the San Francisco Bay Area. We joined forces with local non-profit organizations to revitalize public spaces and clean up local facilities.
  • The San Francisco Giants scored big in the World Series. Not only are they champions on the field, the Giants organization and their fans are also champions for the environment.  According to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), “The Giants also divert the most waste from landfill of any professional sports venue in North America.” Recology Vacaville
  • Recology Vacaville Solano’s Pink Toter Program was a hit. Recology Vacaville Solano continues to lease pink bins to raise funds to be donated to the Solano Midnight Sun Breast Cancer Foundation.  Midnight Sun helps provide assistance and resources to the women and men in the local community who are affected by cancer.
  • On Saturday, April 12, Recology employee-owners distributed free compost at the annual Great Compost Giveaway in San Francisco. The compost used at the event is a direct result of San Francisco’s composting and green bin programs.  The compost giveaway was very successful this year, with record-breaking turnout. Recology Community Garden
  • The community gardens at our organics facilities in California and Oregon fight hunger locally with fresh, organic produce grown with Recology compost as amendment.
  • The Recology Environmental Learning Center has been re-named in honor of the late SF Group Manager, John A. Legnitto. Although John lost his battle with cancer on April 26th,10498687_10154382760650641_1170865312512869491_o (1) 2014, we will always remember the good times we had with him, and the impact that he had on the Recology family.

We’re looking forward to what’s to come in 2015. Happy New Year, and welcome 2015!

Recology San Mateo County Ugly Holiday Sweater Photo Contest

Posted in Uncategorized by ErinAtRecology on December 10, 2014

Recology San Mateo County

Win a $100 VISA gift card and add to your holiday wardrobe!

Share a photo of yourself, family, or friends wearing an ugly holiday sweater on the Recology San Mateo County Facebook page and “like” Recology San Mateo County for a chance to win.

There will be two winners: the photo voted “best ugly holiday sweater” by Recology SMC employee-owners and the photo with the most likes will be announced Monday, Dec 22nd.

Winners will be contacted via Facebook (please check your “others” inbox folder). Winners will also be featured on Recology San Mateo County’s Facebook page.

  •  Must be 18 years or older to participate, and be a customer of Recology San Mateo County. Recology employees are not eligible.
  •  This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any and all liability in connection with this giveaway. All entries will become the property of Recology Inc.

Artist in Residence Program Announces 2015 Residency Recipients

Posted in Diversion, Recycling, San Francisco, You Should Know... by art at the dump on December 9, 2014

Recology San Francisco is pleased to announce recipients of artist residencies for 2015. The six selected artists are Michael Arcega, Jeremiah Barber, Ma Li, Jenny Odell, Alison Pebworth, and Chris Sollars.

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind initiative started in 1990 to support Bay Area artists, while also teaching children and adults about recycling and resource conservation. Artists work for four months in a studio on site and use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.

Michael Arcega and Ma Li
Residency: February-May; Exhibition reception: May 22 and 23, 2015

As an interdisciplinary artist, Michael Arcega works across media to create art that is informed by language, history, and geography. In his most recent work he has adopted methodologies used in the anthropological study of world cultures that often emphasize “otherness,” but Arcega turns the tables, positioning North America as ‘the other” whose symbols and rituals must be studied and understood. Though a socio-political critique, Arcega’s work also has a playful element, providing familiar entry points to alternative ways of thinking about the people who colonize the landscape. Arcega is an Assistant Professor of Art at San Francisco State University. He received an MFA from Stanford University and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2012, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has been exhibited at the Asia Society in New York, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Honolulu Academy of Art, and the Orange Country Museum of Art in Newport Beach.
Ma Li uses non-traditional art media and discarded materials to create sculpture and installations. Her dream-like, large-scale, frequently suspended forms reference her Chinese heritage and often appear like temples, lanterns, or ceremonial architecture. But titles of works, such as Retrofuture City and 633 Hours to Intergalactica!, in combination with her materials that include vividly-colored plastics, lights, and mylar, speak to the meeting of tradition and pop culture; the ordinary and the fantastic; and the hand-made and mass-produced. She describes her works as “imbued with a sense of a celebration and a reminiscence of identity: from a woman in a collective society to a citizen of the planet.” Ma received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Shanghai Dong Hua University. In 2014, she was the recipient of a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Fellowship. She is also the recipient of a Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award and a Knight Foundation Finalist Grant. She has exhibited at SOMArts, Root Division, and Swell Gallery in San Francisco, and has been an artist in residence at the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina and the Vermont Studio Center.

Jenny Odell and Chris Sollars
Residency: June-September; Exhibition reception: September 18 and 19, 2015

Jenny Odell uses found imagery from sources such as Google Maps to create “portraits” of systems ranging from waste-water treatment plants to popular web searches. She has located satellite images of the factories world-wide where all the items she wore, ate or bought over the course of one day were produced, and has gathered aerial photos of 97 nuclear cooling towers together in a single image that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is disturbingly fascinating. Her work makes visible infrastructures and sources of production that play a role in our daily lives, but which are often hidden. She describes herself as “not so much a photographer as a collector.” Odell received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant, and has exhibited at Intersection for the Arts, White Walls, and SOMArts in San Francisco, and in New York, Paris, and Barcelona. Her work has been featured in The EconomistWIREDFrieze, and The Atlantic.
Chris Sollars’ art involves the reclamation and subversion of public space through interventions and performance. His work can be experienced in two ways—through the witnessing of, or participation in, a performative event, or later viewing the documentation of the event in a gallery context via installations that combine photography, video, and sculpture. Sollars’ process is physical and conceptual as he juxtaposes dissimilar elements to create unexpected forms that are often comedic. Sollars received an MFA from Bard College and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2013, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has received a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission Grant, a Eureka Fellowship Award, Artadia Grant, Headlands Center for the Arts Residency, and has exhibited in venues nationally and internationally. His work is in the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum and his Left Behind sculpture series was most recently published by Publication Studio in 2013.

Jeremiah Barber and Alison Pebworth
Residency: October-January; Exhibition reception: January 22 and 23, 2016

Working in performance, video, sculpture, and installation, Jeremiah Barber explores ideas of transcendence, as well as perseverance, memory, and personal mythologies. Using his own body in performances that have incorporated elements such as fire, water and smoke, Barber investigates the realms of both the physical and the metaphysical. Though elegantly minimal in their execution, his attempts at near-impossible actions also include humor and illuminate the absurdity and wonder at the core of what it means to be human. Barber received an MFA from Stanford University and a BFA from Columbia College in Chicago. He is the recipient of a Eureka Fellowship, a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant, and from 2005-07 was an exhibiting member of Marina Abramovic’s independent performance group. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and in the Bay Area at Southern Exposure, SOMArts, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and The Lab.
Alison Pebworth explores aspects of contemporary life and culture using the tropes and traditions of an earlier America through projects such as her Beautiful Possibility tour in which she traveled to 25 venues across the United States and Canada. Her work is equal parts social practice, public performance, and fine art exhibition, and harkens back to a time of traveling performers and sideshow curiosities. Pebworth’s projects are often long-range and involve the gathering of data to bring to light the ailments of our sped up, high tech world, for which she provides metaphorical (and sometimes actual) elixirs. Pebworth is the recipient of Artist Grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Center for Cultural Innovation and has been an artist-in-residence at numerous institutions including Ucross Foundation, Claremont, WY and the de Young Museum. She has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, the Salt Lake Art Center, in Salt Lake City, and in the Bay Area at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure and Headlands Center for the Arts. Her work is included in Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City.

Recology Donates Organic Produce to GLIDE Memorial Church; grown with city compost

Posted in Community, Composting, Diversion, Recology by ErinAtRecology on November 21, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO: Today GLIDE Memorial Church on Ellis Street received a unique donation – a Recology truckload of fresh, organic produce grown with compost made from food scraps and plant cuttings collected in the City. Recology is San Francisco’s recycling and compost collection company.

“We are pleased to help kick off the Season of Sharing with this donation of healthy, organic food to GLIDE, which provides critical assistance to the needy in our community. We encourage everyone to take steps to help those less fortunate then ourselves,” said Mark Arsenault, San Francisco Group Manager for Recology. “Also we encourage residents and businesses, such as restaurants, to compost all food scraps especially during the holidays, the biggest food weeks of the year.”

10407705_10152549160547875_8055013713294162945_n 10368260_10152549160462875_8974576629610299368_n
(Photos courtesy of Supervisor Jane Kim)
Janice Mirikitani, Founding President of the GLIDE Foundation, said “We are thankful to Recology, not only for this wonderful bounty of fresh, organic produce that will help nourish souls this Thanksgiving, but for encouraging folks to get involved and help others in need this holiday season. We hope San Francisco residents will be reminded to be responsible beyond themselves and care for their communities and do what they can to help those in need and be inspired in their daily actions and activities.”

Supervisor Jane Kim said “I am pleased to help raise awareness of the need for donations of food and money to GLIDE and other care providers in the Tenderloin. Because of the hard work done by of organizations like GLIDE our homeless and poor citizens can receive something many of us take for granted, a hot meal served with a warm smile by people who care.”

The produce donated today includes cases of: butternut squash, collard greens, cabbage, kale, and sweet potatoes. The locally-sourced vegetables were grown at EatWell Farm located in Dixon. For 10 years EatWell has applied compost made from food scraps and plants collected in San Francisco’s urban compost collection program.

A 30-year study from the Rodale Institute, the nation’s oldest agriculture institute, shows that farms that apply compost achieve higher yields in years of drought compared to those using synthetic fertilizers. Therefore composting more of our food scraps and applying the compost to farms presents a way to grow additional food to help feed all people.

This year the employee-owners at Recology constructed gardens at the compost facilities the company operates, and grew more than 1,900 pounds of produce. They donated that harvest to local food banks. We hope to double that amount in 2015 and encourage other cities and universities that are replicating San Francisco’s compost collection program to do the same.

Roland Breland & Harry Garay at Glide today, Nov. 19.glide

Media contact:
Robert Reed
Recology spokesman
cell: (415) 606 9183

California Passes Progressive Organics Recycling Bill

Posted in Composting, Diversion, Policy, Resource Recovery, Waste Reduction by ErinAtRecology on November 17, 2014

recology commercial compost
The last few months proved to be significant for California’s environmentalists and waste & recycling industry alike. In addition to signing SB 270, the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1826 (Chesbro), requiring commercial businesses to begin recycling organics.

According to Assembly Bill 1826, organics include “food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.” By spring 2016, restaurants, grocery stores, and other commercial food and yard waste producers generating at least 8 cubic yards of organics per week will be required to separate their organics and properly send the materials to an organics processing facility.

Most notably, the move towards large-scale organics recycling will reduce the amount of food scraps and yard waste headed to landfills, and increase materials headed for anaerobic digestion and composting facilities. The influx of organic materials to processing facilities will be converted to renewable energy through anaerobic digestion, or composted for use on local farms.

By signing AB 1826…Governor Brown ensured that all of California shares in the environmental, agricultural, and economic benefits of organics recycling with reduced local emissions of greenhouse gases, new jobs and valuable compost for our farms and vineyards – Mike Sangiacomo, President & CEO, Recology

Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro adds, “Landfilled food and other organic materials produce methane, a major contributor to climate change,” Chesbro said. “Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas created by the burning of fossil fuels.”

Rural areas, however, are exempt: “‘Rural jurisdiction’ means a jurisdiction that is located entirely within one or more rural counties, or a regional agency comprised of jurisdictions that are located within one or more rural counties…’Rural county’ means a county that has a total population of less than 70,000 persons.”

Commercial organics recycling is a step forward in terms of increasing the State’s diversion percentages and reducing landfill tonnages. The end goal, however, will always be to return resources and nutrients back to the environment where they originated. We think it will help accomplish all of these goals. 

Recology – Artist in Residence Program – Issue No. 11

Posted in Community, Diversion, Recology, San Francisco, You Should Know... by art at the dump on November 12, 2014

Current Resident Artists

Kara Maria and Imin Yeh have hit the ground running, adapting to scavenging while also being incredibly productive. Within the first two weeks of their residencies Kara had nine paintings simultaneously in progress and Imin had created an entire alphabet of hand-carved movable type. Kara is experimenting with mark-making with found objects and plans on including representations of the wide range of animals at the facility—from hawks to flies—in her paintings. Imin has been carving wood printing blocks based on original artwork she’s found, and is also working on a quilt from discarded uniforms. Student artist Matthew Goldberg is collecting items that were once considered futuristic in order to explore our relationship to outer space. He’s been thinking about what might happen if we were to send our trash out into the galaxy—an idea some people have actually proposed. We’re excited to see what Kara, Imin, and Matthew will make in the coming months. Their end of residency exhibition will take place January 23, 24 and 27.

Beehive Cob Oven Gets a Second Life

After the Hayes Valley Farm closed in June 2013, we were the fortunate recipients of its cob oven. Though it took some time to build a new base and reinstall the oven, we completed the project in time for our last exhibition reception. Shaped like a beehive, the oven is now in the vegetable garden behind the art studio. During the Saturday reception we cooked pizzas in the oven for the public, topped with vegetables harvested from our garden.

The cob oven was built by Miguel Elliott of Living Earth Structures and participants of the Hayes Valley Farm’s permaculture course in May, 2012. The farm was a volunteer-led community project almost a city-block in size, located on the site of a former freeway onramp at Laguna Street between Fell and Oak Streets in San Francisco. The farm existed for three years through an interim use agreement with the City. Today condominiums are being built on the land. We are honored to have the oven here and keep the spirit of Hayes Valley Farm alive.  For more information about the Farm and the other urban agriculture projects it has inspired, visit

Selection of New Artists

We are currently in the process of selecting artists for 2015 residencies and will announce residency recipients in early December. If you are interested in applying for a 2016 residency, we will begin taking applications in late spring. The application deadline will be August 31, 2015. For more information about how to apply, please visit


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Work from the Recology Artist in Residence Program was recently exhibited at 2 Blocks of Art, an annual art walk on 6th Street in San Francisco. From January 5 to March 4 work will be exhibited in the lobby of 350/400 California Street, and from March 10 to 22 there will be an exhibition of Recology artwork in Los Angeles at the Voila Gallery at 518 N. LaBrea Avenue.

Gardener in Residence

In 2015, we will begin a Gardener in Residence Program, organized with the guidance of Garden for the Environment. Gardeners will have access to the Recology Sculpture Garden for projects and will work on site for four months. Information regarding the program will be posted on our website in December.


Alumni News

Re:New, an exhibition curated by Nemo Gould and Jeff Hantman and featuring new artwork by former Recology resident artists, is up at Lost and Foundry Oakland. Artists in the exhibition are Micah Gibson, Nemo Gould, Barbara Holmes, Ferris Plock, Lauren DiCioccio, Jeff Hantman, Benjamin Cowden, Yulia Pinkusevich, and Hannah Quinn. The exhibition will be on view through November 22, by appointment only.

James Sansing is the recipient of a 2014/15 Pollock Krasner Grant for painting. His film Verses is included in the Biennial of the Moving Image (BIM) in Buenos Aires in November, and he has been commissioned by Christian Dior to create three paintings for their Soho location in New York.

Lauren DiCioccio’s recent solo exhibition at Jack Fischer Gallery was reviewed by Kenneth Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle.She is currently an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Work by Jeff Hantman is included in the 28th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition. The show runs through November 2, and is open daily, 11am-6pm. He is also in an exhibition at The Compound Gallery, opening November 1, and will have several works on exhibition in the space’s new Fabrefaction Gallery.

Work by Stephanie Syjuco is included in the Alien She exhibition at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, on view until January 25. She is also currently at the Workshop Residence where she is developing a collection of garments featuring a non-repeating dazzle screen print inspired by the camouflage systems used on WWI battleships.

Jeremy Rourke will be screening and performing with his stop-motion collage videos at Shapeshifters Cinema in Oakland on November 16. He will be showing a number of works, including the videos he made during his Recology residency.

Sirron Norris, Val Britton, and current Recology artists-in-residence Kara Maria and Imin Yeh all participated in the October 26Passport event, an annual art walk sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

Karrie Hovey is spending October at the Brush Creek Artist Residency in Saratoga, Wyoming. She is also an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and will be exhibiting in the Shunpike Storefronts program in Seattle which enables artists to exhibit their work in vacant storefronts. Her work will be on display on Republican Street in Seattle from November to March.

Samuel Levi Jones is the recipient of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize given by the Studio Museum in Harlem. The $50,000 prize is awarded each year to one artist “who demonstrates great innovation, promise, and creativity.” Previous recipients include Gary Simmons, Glenn Ligon, and Lorna Simpson. He also has a solo show, Black White Thread, opening November 8 at Papillion in Los Angeles.

Reddy Lieb will teach glass workshops on November 9 and December 7, 10am-4pm, and a mini workshop on November 30, 1-3pm. Workshops are held at 3535 19th Street. For more information, fees, or to register, please contact Reddy.

Nemo Gould appears in Maker, a documentary on the maker movement.

Michael Kerbow was awarded a grand prize for his painting Critical Mass in the juried show Real Surreal at Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco. As part of the award he will be given an exhibition at the gallery in 2015.

Colette Crutcher has completed another mosaic stair project in collaboration with Aileen Barr, the Arelious Walker Stairway in Hunters Point off of Innes Street near the shipyard. She is also working on a grouping of mosaic-clad sculptures that will be installed at Taraval Street and 48th Avenue in early 2015.

Yulia Pinkusevich was selected to create a sculptural seating centerpiece for the new McMurtry Art and Art History building, designed by Diller, Scofidio & Renfro, at Stanford University.

Julia Goodman will teach a tin can papermaking workshop at INTUIT: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago on November 22. Her recent beet papyrus work The Root of Scarcity, 2014 will be included in Rooted in Soil, a group exhibition at the DePaul Art Museum, January 29 to April 26, 2015.

Bill Russell will show a series of new abstract paintings in a group show November 15, 16, 22 and 23 from 10am-4pm at ArtBrokers Gallery, 425 Irwin Street, San Rafael.

Mike Kendall will participate in Benicia open studios the first weekend of December. For more information:

Paula Pereira, working collaboratively with Swedish artist Pernilla Andersson as t.w.five, will have an installation in the Luggage Store’s new Lower Haight exhibition space. Entitled, Automaton X, the exhibition will open November 15, with a reception at 7pm.Luggage Store Projects @ 457 Haight.

Christine Lee will be an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado in February.

Scott Kildall is finishing up a residency at Impact Works in Utrecht in the Netherlands. During the residency he has made a new online art project called EquityBot, a stock-trading algorithm that “invests” in emotions such as anger, joy, disgust and amazement. During stock market hours, EquityBot tracks sentiments on Twitter to gauge how the world is feeling and links these emotions with actual stocks to make investments using a simulated brokerage account.

Kristin Cammermeyer was a recent visiting artist at UC Davis. Mid-May through June she will be producing new work at The Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University in Washington.

Ethan Estess is currently at the Nautilus Lanzarote art residency in the Canary Islands, using materials he finds on the beaches and streets to tell stories about the island’s people and environment. His collage series, Marine Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, will be exhibited at the Pacific Grove Art Center, opening January 9. He began the series when he stumbled upon a 1970s whale poster in the dump during his Recology residency.

Matthew Gottschalk is an artist-in-residence in the Jail Cell studio at Alter Space in San Francisco. His solo show there, This Is Where Home Is, opens December 6th. He will also have an installation, The Higher We Rise, The Further Away I Seem,  in the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s Grove Street Windows opening December 16 with an artist talk January 10.

Scott Oliver’s proposal for a public artwork at the corner of Masonic Ave. and Geary Blvd. was chosen by the SF Arts Commission. Entitled Points of Departure, it will be fabricated by San Francisco-based Gizmo Art Production and is expected to be installed in spring, 2016.

Susan Leibovitz Steinman has published the latest edition of the online WEAD Magazine, Issue No. 7 “Cultivating Communities.”


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