1 Million Tons of Food-Scraps

The rich soil from composted food scraps and yard waste is sent to farms and vineyards.

Photo: Sarah Rice / Special to The Chronicle

Today, Recology San Francisco collected it’s 1 millionth ton of food scraps for composting.

Since the pilot program launched in the mid 1990s, the program has grown in popularity and acceptance. It was in 2009, however, that participation in the program became a requirement. Following San Francisco’s example, over 90 cities across the world have created similar laws, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Recology employees Marcus Tiger and Alfredo Guzman assemble compost bins for delivery

Photo: Sarah Rice / Special to The Chronicle

The food scraps—what is leftover from dinner at a restaurant or what went bad in the refrigerator—are composted and sent on to farms and vineyards in Northern California. Besides increasing San Francisco’s landfill diversion rate up to 78%, compost may be said to help prevent further desertification in the United States. The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service provides a map of the regions that are vulnerable to desertification. The state of California is one of them.

USDA Globar Desertification Vulnerability MapThis Thanksgiving, remember to compost your food scraps. We need them for next year’s crops.

Composting tips

1. Place a paper bag inside the kitchen pail provided for compost, or line it with newspaper to avoid a mess. Remember not to use plastic bags – they’re not compostable
2. Sprinkle baking soda on the compost if it starts to smell.
3. Deter flies with citrus, lavender, eucalyptus or lemongrass oils by placing a few drops on a cloth and leaving it inside or on top of the pail.
4. Check to see if something is compostable before you throw it away. Take-out containers, pizza boxes, coffee cups and wine corks (natural cork, not plastic) are all compostable.
5. If you generate almost no garbage, you may be able to utilize the 20-gallon cart service, which can save you $2 per month.

(src: Recology San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle, page C2)

3 Responses to “1 Million Tons of Food-Scraps

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