2014 Recology Highlights

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!

2 Responses to “2014 Recology Highlights

  • Mark Pearson
    5 years ago

    Hi Recology folks,

    I’m curious how much stuff that’s put in San Francisco’s compost bins is actually compost. What percent is erroneously put there? Is this rate a problem or are the people and machines good enough to separate the bad stuff out (plastics, etc.) and leave a pure enough stream for good compost?

    And has the purity of the composting stream changed over the years? Are people getting better at sorting their compost?

    I ask because I live in a large apartment building and regularly see plastic bags full of food waste or plastic salad tubs full of food waste in the compost bins. I’d like to know whether I should try to track down the people doing this to educate them about how to compost.

    Please answer me in the comments, post about this topic, or point me to a publication by Recology about this.


    • Hey Mark,

      We are fortunate that the City’s compost program and Recology’s processing technologies are fairly advanced. Once we collect the organic materials they are taken to our Jepson Prairie Organics facility in Vacaville, CA, where it’s cleaned and processed.

      In order to make organic grade compost, we have to remove all plastics and other toxic materials that are tossed into the City’s compost (green) bins. This is done in a variety of ways: trommel screening, magnetization, hand sorting. We often see plastic bags, biodegradable plastics (not compostable), and glass that cause changes in compost quality. These technologies and processes are sufficient for producing very good quality compost for nearby farms and vineyards.

      Sorting the non-compostables from the load slow the process and affects the City’s diversion goals. However, we have seen improvements over the last couple years.

      The Recology Team

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