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Mandatory Composting

San Francisco's RecyclablesImage by Walter Parenteau via Flickr

San Francisco recently approved the most aggressive recycling law in the United States. Residents will now be required to separate their garbage into three color-coded bins, blue for recycling, black for trash and green for composting. You read that right. San Francisco now has mandatory composting.

I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. Keeping this waste out of the landfill will cut down on landfill methane.

They’ve found that around 30 percent trash that goes to the landfill is compostable. But in landfill conditions, that waste is composting the same way it would in a home compost bin. In the landfill the piles don’t get to breath as much and the decomposition is Anaerobic. And the number one by-product of anaerobic decomposition is methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. If the production of methane can be reduced it would definitely help reduce our carbon footprint.

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  1. LHR said...
    Actually, while I don't remember it being mandatory, King County, Washington gave us 3 bins with the same set up. We were to use one for yard waste, one for recyclables and one for trash. The one for trash was considerably smaller than the other two. They must have instituted that program in 2003 or 2004 because we had used it for some time before we moved away in the summer of 2005.

    I wish we had that same set up here in South Carolina!
    Red Icculus said...
    Although I am an avid composter, I have no faith in people to be able to split things into 3 bins. This is just another bureacracy boondoggle for feelgood taxpayer leaching.

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