August 1, 2008
Garbage Police? Yes, in San Francisco
Failing to sort household or business trash in San Francisco could result in fines of up to $1,000 under a proposal offered by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
The plan requiring sorting of trash would be the United States' first mandatory recycling and composting law, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.A draft prepared by the city's Environment Department would direct garbage collectors to inspect the trash its in the proper blue, black or green bin. The program is being offered to limit the amount of food and foliage finding their way into the city-contracted landfill in Alameda County, where it takes up space and decomposes into methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
If we're truly going to be the city we promote ourselves to be, a world-class, 21st century city that advances its values and principles, we're going to have to try new things, Newsom said. People are used to doing things a certain way. And when you change that, they say it can't be done. Well, we've proved them wrong.
Critics say Newsom's plan is unworkable and characterize it as another intrusion of a city government that banned smoking in parks and feeding pigeons in most of the city.