Recology

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.

Reception-
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.
http://www.recologysf.com/AIR

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

Directions-
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.

 

Recology Employees Clean Up San Francisco Community Park

Posted in Community, Composting, Events, Recology, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on July 23, 2014

Recology Volunteers

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, 200 Recology and community partners made a tremendous improvement to Little Hollywood Park in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood.

We selected this project not only to beautify the neighborhood park in close proximity to our Recology San Francisco transfer station, but to share our Recology spirit in memory of our late colleague, John Legnitto.

With the help of volunteers, we accomplished the following:

  • Weeded and removed invasive wild blackberry and Algerian ivy located adjacent to the Recology property line
    along a 100 yard fence on the upper park level.
  • Planted over 100 native drought tolerant plants supplied by SFRPD using 30 cubic feet of Recology potting mix for 10 cement planter
    boxes and surrounding hillside.
  • Spread 60 cubic yards of Recology arbor mulch produced by Recology Grover Environmental Products in selected areas throughout the 1.3 acre park.
  • Power washed, prepped and painted 10 wooden picnic tables, 18 wooden park benches, 15 cement trash receptacles, 10 cement planter boxes, a wooden swing structure, a multi-level staircase, railing and retaining walls using tools from Recology CleanScapes and paint supplied by SFRPD.

All work was done in preparation for the park renovation that will take place in October 2014. Together, our efforts for one day totaled 800 hours of service, which amounts to an in-kind donation of over $20,000 to the SFRPD.

Thank you for making our joint project with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SFRPD) a success!

Recology Volunteers

Planting drought resistant plants.

Recology Volunteers

Evening out the materials in a debris box

Recology Compost

Recology employee, Patricia Aleman (left), with SF Supervisor Malia Cohen

Recology Volunteers

Collecting debris

Recology San Mateo County Congratulates BizSMART Award Winners

Posted in Community, Recycling, Resource Recovery, San Mateo County, Waste Reduction, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on June 19, 2014

Recology BizSmartThe BizSMART @ Work is an annual award program recognizing businesses and multi-family complexes that are leading the way to reduce waste and conserve natural resources.

Recology San Mateo County (Recology) would like to congratulate this year’s BizSMART @ Work Award winners. Recology’s team thrives on working with the businesses and multi-family complexes to help them increase their diversion levels.

Recology works closely with customers by providing waste audits, cost savings analyses, internal recycling and compost containers, recycle buddy bags, posters, in addition to other outreach materials, and onsite trainings and presentations. With these tools, Recology’s Waste Zero Specialist can identify what technical assistance each customer needs to educate their staff and reduce waste going to the landfill.

Award categories include Recycle, Compost, and a combined Recycle and Compost.  The winners for this year’s awards are as follows:

Recycling Category:
Diddams Party Store, San Carlos
Sand Cove Apartments, Foster City

Composting Category:
300 Alpine Road LLC, West Bay Sanitary District
Bayshore Christian Ministries, East Palo Alto
Donato Enoteca, Redwood City
Milagros, Redwood City
Menlo Circus Club, Atherton
Oak Grove HOA/Manor, Menlo Park
Papillon Preschool, San Mateo
Promontory Point, Foster City

Recycling and Composting Category:
Abbott Vascular, Menlo Park
Back Yard Coffee Company, Redwood City
Catered Too, East Palo Alto
Embarcadero Capital Partners LLC, Belmont
Hassett Hardware, San Mateo
Impossible Foods, Inc., Redwood City
Kingston Café, San Mateo
The Plant Cafe, Burlingame
Rocket Fuel, Redwood City
Sweet Production, San Carlos
Villa Lucia’s Pizza, San Mateo County
The public also had a chance to select the 2014 Rethinker’s Choice Award by voting for their favorite nominees selected from the Recycle and Compost category winners through the RethinkWaste website. The winner of the 2014 Rethinkers’ Choice Award will be announced at the luncheon.

The nominees for the 2014 Rethinker’s Choice Award are:
Abbott Vascular, Redwood City
Back Yard Coffee Company, Redwood City
Embarcadero Capital Partners LLC, Belmont
Kingston Café, San Mateo
Sweet Production, San Carlos

Help California Save Water – Compost

Posted in Community, Composting, Diversion, Recology, Resource Recovery, Waste Reduction, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on May 6, 2014

In honor of International Compost Awareness Week (May 5 – 11), an initiative created by the US Composting Council, we’re sharing our thoughts on this years focus: “Compost: The Solution to Sustainable Soil and Water.”

The traditional reasons to participate in a curbside compost program are to keep materials out of landfills and to return nutrients, in the form of compost, to local farms and vineyards. Those nutrients give farmers a viable alternative to using synthetic fertilizers and help farmers grow healthy food that comes back to the city to support our good health.

But there is a third great reason to compost: It helps California, our home state, save water – tremendous amounts of water.

Compost is 50 percent humus by weight. Humus is organic matter that helps soil retain moisture. Humus is a form of carbon; it both attracts and holds water. When we apply compost to an orchard, farm, or vineyard, we increase the amount of humus in the farm’s soil, and thereby increase the capacity of the soil to withstand drought conditions.

Recology CompostFarmers like to apply compost because doing so helps their soil and their crops get the full benefit of any rain or irrigation. This is particularly important for orchards, which require a lot of irrigation.

Here is a key statistic: If we increase organic matter by one percent on one acre of land by adding compost and by farming environmentally, we can save 16,500 gallons of water per year. Imagine how much water we could save if every city in California participated in a compost collection programs, sending a lot more compost to local farms.

Knowing that composting is a highly effective way to help California save water, many Recology employee-owners have an increased motive to participate in Recology’s green-bin programs. We are doing a good job of composting scraps and plant cuttings in many areas like San Francisco, but we can do much better. What can an individual do on a daily basis to help? Place all food scraps and plant cuttings in the green bin for curbside collection. Also, we can place all food-soiled paper, things like used paper napkins and towels, in the green bin (soiled paper has short fibers – microorganisms in compost like short paper fibers). Soiled paper in a kitchen compost pail or curbside compost bin will also absorb moisture, which will help control odor.

Recology set the trend when we started an urban compost collection program in San Francisco in 1996 to reduce landfill disposal and turn food scraps into compost. Now we can help our state save great amounts of water by extending our good green habit and composting all of our scraps, plant cuttings, and soiled paper.

SF Residents Can Recycle Old Clothes, Linens, and Other Textiles

Posted in Diversion, Resource Recovery, San Francisco, Waste Reduction, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on April 30, 2014

Recology Textile RecyclingUnwanted or worn out clothes and other textiles, such as fabrics woven from thread or yarn, can be recycled through Recology’s RecycleMyJunk program. SF Residents can call (415) 330-1300 to schedule a pickup or email us through the “contact us” form on our website, RecycleMyJunk.com.

Our textile recycling program also accepts backpacks, purses, belts, and shoes. Recology will take all textiles, even if torn or ripped, as long as they are dry. When placing textiles by the curb for your scheduled pickup, please bundle them with string or place them in a box or bag clearly labeled “Textiles.”

RecycleMyJunk is an appointment-based program and part of the collection services we provide in San Francisco under City oversight. To view program rules go to RecycleMyJunk.com. Residential customers can now include boxes and bundles of textiles without them counting toward the per-collection item limit. Residential customers can also request “Textile Only” collections at no additional charge.

Recology donates textiles collected through the RecycleMyJunk program to St. Vincent de Paul Society, who sorts and re-purposes the materials.

13 Compelling Reasons to Compost

Posted in Community, Composting, Diversion, Recology, Recycling, Resource Recovery, Waste Reduction, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on April 7, 2014

Recology compost programs are designed to return nutrients back to our soils, and essentially back to our dining tables. Composting turns food scraps and yard trimmings into useful materials; the best and highest use of natural resources. 
Recology Compost

  1. Compost is a viable alternative to chemical fertilizers because it adds many nutrients to soil and doesn’t pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
  2. Composting keeps organic waste out of landfills, which supports more efficient land use and reduces methane gas emissions, a greenhouse gas.
  3. Compost sequesters carbon deep in the soil, which helps maintain essential nutrients in soil. This is especially useful when compost is used to grow cover crops, like mustard or beans.
  4. Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in soil, which makes micronutrients available to plant roots and discourages soil diseases.
  5. Compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
  6. Soils fed with compost retain far more rainwater, conserving our water resources.
  7. Compost helps grow plants and food crops that are rich with nutrients needed to sustain good health.
  8. Composting is easy and fulfilling!
  9. Compost collection programs return nutrients to local farms and support green jobs.
  10. Farms that utilize compost achieve higher yields than conventional farming that uses nitrogen fertilizers. This means farms produce more organic fruits and vegetables to support your good health.
  11. Composting reverses the course of waste from decay to new growth, turning coffee grounds, cantaloupe skins, and chicken bones into sweet carrots, juicy tomatoes, and fine wines.
  12. Composting helps our cities get closer to achieving zero waste.
  13. Composting helps California save tremendous amounts of water.

The Great Compost Giveaway – April 12, 2014

Posted in Community, Composting, Recology, Resource Recovery, San Francisco, WASTE ZERO by ErinAtRecology on March 13, 2014

Recology Compost Giveaway

Turning Municipal Waste into Energy: Recology Runs on Alternative Fuel

Guest blogger, Chris Choate, VP of Sustainability at Recology, leads us through the dynamic world of creating biofuels.

Recology BiodieselRecology 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.

Tis the Season… for Recycling and Reuse!

Recology Holiday Recycling

If compost collection can make it in NYC, it can make it anywhere.

Congratulations Big Apple on Going Green!

Dozens of cities and hundreds of universities are following San Francisco’s lead and instituting urban compost collection programs. Most of these programs are located where one might expect to find them: Seattle, Portland, Maine, and University of California campuses. But not everyone expected New York City to come to the party. On June 16 Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to expand and eventually require food scrap compost collection at locations across the city.

In discussing the plan, officials also signaled interest in the zero waste movement. “You want to get on a trajectory where you’re not sending anything to landfills,” Caswell F. Holloway IV, a deputy mayor, told The New York Times.

San Francisco aims to achieve zero waste by 2020, a goal set by the Board of Supervisors. The green bin program is a major contributor to San Francisco’s landfill diversion rate of 80 percent, the highest in the country.

Replicating the San Francisco program is just common sense. Food scraps collected from San Francisco are turned into nutrient-rich compost that is applied to local farms. Most of them are vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties. Compost made from food scraps collected in New York City could be applied to farms in upstate New York, farms that grow fruits and vegetables sold at the 19 farmers’ markets in the city.

There are many wonderful things about these programs. They keep things out of landfills and feed topsoil on local farms, which helps farmers grow healthier food. Urbanites like to shop at farmer’s markets and increasingly are hearing about the connection between tossing coffee grounds and vegetable peelings in their kitchen compost pails and the heirloom tomatoes and fresh carrots they buy on Saturday mornings.

Bloomberg’s announcement generated a lot of New York media coverage and press calls to San Francisco seeking reaction and insights. Reporters looking for opposing views among New Yorkers were mostly disappointed and within two days said “people like it.”

The Times reported that test compost collection programs in New York have shown an “unexpectedly high level of participation.” More than one headline read like this one: “Take it from a composting veteran, it is easier than you think.”

That perspective will feel correct to most people who live and work in San Francisco, experienced composters that we are. Some here are compost holdouts and need to get with the program, but in total we are getting our city a little closer to zero waste everyday. And in that context it was nice, at least for a few days, to read headlines like “New York City amps up food recycling, while San Francisco shows the way.”

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