America Recycles Today and Everyday in SF
How can San Francisco, which has the highest recycling rate in the country, further reduce landfill? Let us count the ways.
In San Francisco, Recology provides 18 separate and distinct reuse and recycling programs, more than any other city in the U.S.
New data shows reuse, recycling, and composting are more helpful at protecting the environment than previously known. The City recently announced that San Francisco has achieved a 77 percent diversion rate. That means of all waste generated in the city, 77 percent is accounted for in source reduction, reuse, and recycling programs. That is the highest diversion rate of any large city in the United States.
Reuse and recycling programs Recology provides in San Francisco:
1. Perfectly Good (Reuse Program): Recology employee-owners pull items in good condition from loads brought to the transfer station by small contractors and self-haulers and send them to a repair facility where they are reconditioned and then delivered to thrift stores.
2.Commingled Recycling: Curbside collection (blue bin) for all bottles, cans, paper, and rigid plastics (cups, tubs, lids, buckets, and toys without wires or metal parts).
3. Compost Collection: Curbside collection (green bin) for food scraps, soiled paper, and plants.
4. RecycleMyJunk.com (Bulky Items): Special collections for bulky items such as furniture, appliances, scrap metal, wood, cardboard, and electronics. Residents can call to schedule the service.
5. Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling: As buildings are constructed, remodeled or demolished, metal, wood, sheetrock, rigid plastic, and other construction materials are captured in debris boxes on site then taken to Recology’s construction debris recycling facility for sorting.
6. Mattress Recycling: Mattresses from residents, hotels, and designated collection trucks are loaded into trailers at the transfer station and transported to a local company specializing in mattress recycling.
7. Clean Team Saturdays: These special events in each of the city’s 11 districts allow residents to drop off items too big to fit in the regular bins.
8. E-Waste Recycling: Most electronic waste is banned from landfill in California. Fluorescent tubes, monitors, TVs, computers, and other electronics are collected from drop-off locations, curbside collection appointments, and the transfer station then shipped to facilities specializing in recycling specific types of e-waste.
9. Self-Haul Recycling: Recology operates a special sorting line to recycle wood, metal, rigid plastic and other construction and demolition materials brought to the transfer station by small contractors and people completing big cleaning projects.
10. Household Battery Recycling: Customers place batteries in zip-lock bags and place them on top of their (black) landfill bins. Collectors at the transfer station put the batteries into containers that are shipped to facilities specializing in battery recycling.
11. Paint, Motor Oil, Household Cleaing, Gardening Products: San Francisco residents can take such items to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility or make an appointment for a special pickup. All of the material collected through this program is identified by type and sorted and most of it is reused or recycled.
12. Commercial Wood, Scrap Metal, and Large Plastic Recycling: Broken pallets from warehouses, wood scraps from cabinetmakers, and car doors and bumpers from auto shops are collected, sorted, and recycled.
13. Toilet Recycling: We collect old toilets and pull them from the waste stream. We then transfer them to a company that specializes in porcelain recycling. Prior to shipment we remove toilet seats and lids and bale them with other rigid plastic for recycling.
14. Sustainable Crushing: Recycles concrete, bricks, and asphalt rubble from large construction, road replacement, and earthquake retrofit projects in the Bay Area.
15. Special Event Recycling: Recology provides recycling and compost collection services to neighborhood festivals and major functions such as the Chinese New Year Parade.
16. Tire Recycling: Used tires are handled separately at the transfer station and then taken to a company that shreds and recycles the rubber.
17. Buy-Back Centers: We operate buy-back centers for customers who want to bring in bottles and cans for deposit redemption.
18. Window Glass Recycling: Glass from window shops and commercial customers is collected.
*Media Contacts: Robert Reed, Recology Sunset Scavenger, rreed at recology dot com