Recycling is an important component in San Antonio’s future – we have set a goal of achieving a zero waste vision. To accomplish this, we must establish regulations to minimize waste and promote reuse and recycling. Refer to Public Facilities Goal 6 for a more in depth discussion of achieving a zero waste vision.

Zero Waste Initiative: San Francisco, California

In 2009, the City of San Francisco passed an ordinance mandating the composting of food waste. The ordinance is part of the City’s larger goal of reaching zero waste by 2020. In 2011, San Francisco composted a record 600 tons of organic waste per day. In 2012, it was announced that 80% of San Francisco’s waste is diverted to recycling, composting, and reuse, making it the greenest city in North America. To achieve its 2020 goal of zero waste, the City has implemented a strategic waste reduction, education, and recycling and compost plan which utilizes innovative recycling and reuse programs and policies. A few of these policies include: the sale of locally made compost to farms and wineries in neighboring counties; a Christmas Tree Recycling program where chipped trees are turned into broiler fuel at waste to energy facilities; and an ordinance outlawing plastic bags and bottles. By focusing on preventing waste, reducing and reusing first, and recycling and composting, San Francisco is quickly becoming not only a national leader, but a world leader with its zero waste initiative.

The City’s goal is to increase the single-family residential recycling rate to 60% by 2025. We have begun to offer single-family residences the choice of three garbage cart options: 48-gallon; 69-gallon; and 96-gallon. Residents’ monthly bills will be based on the size of their garbage cart thereby encouraging households to recycle and reduce their waste. We will also work to ensure that residents living in multifamily properties have convenient and accessible recycling services and partner with businesses to improve recycling in the commercial sector.