d. Recycling & Reuse

1.   Provide City-owned land to support community-based recycling programs, including collection, “buy-back,” and environmental educational centers.

A principle limitation to increasing the City’s capacity at the neighborhood level to reduce solid waste disposal is the absence of suitable sites for recycling activities.  This is especially true in the north eastern portion of the City where high density development makes curbside pick up less than optimal.  Providing space for such services would greatly increase opportunities for neighborhood based recycling activities with related increase in employment opportunities.

2.   Create community-based composting and urban agriculture sites.

Provide City space and underused privately owned space (in co operation with owners) for neighborhood based composting and gardening sites.  Where possible and supported by residents co-locate such facilities with recycling activities. See also Urban Agriculture section below.

3.   Require a competitive bidding process for garbage collection and require the successful bidder to pay a franchise fee.

San Francisco’s 1932 Refuse collection is outdated and confers a monopoly in perpetuity to the owner of the refuse collection permits, Recology. Narrowly interpreted, it puts recycling under the purview of the refuse collector and limits “free market” competition
for recyclables from the profitable commercial sector. Furthermore, existing law only regulates residential garbage rates allowing Recology to charge the commercial sector whatever the market will bare. A competitive bidding process for garbage collection, and a requirement for the successful bidder to pay a franchise fee, would generate tens of millions of dollars for the General Fund.

4.   Dedicate Port sites for affordable recycling and remanufacture centers.

Require the Port of San Francisco to make available leases for Port land at less than market rate for not for profit, community based, recycling and composting centers. For example, Building ReSources, a spinoff of SF Community Recyclers, operates out of an inexpensive Port-owned space at Pier 92, for what was supposed to become an “eco-industrial park,” though only a few recycling industries operate there now (for example, “Red Shovel,” which turns recycled glass into decorative products used for countertops, landscaping, etc.). There has been some talk of a mini-steel mill to recycle steel from concrete demolition. Issues include trucking as a major issue.

5.   Create a San Francisco Carbon Off-set requirement for new development

Development projects subject to Planning Department approval which  exceed a certain number of vehicle trips per day (say, 1,000) shall be required, as a condition of their approval, to off-set their carbon emissions by investment in sustainable agricultural, habitat and open space restoration, or recycling of disposable containers and building materials.


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