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San Francisco Composting Program Marks Million-Ton Milestone

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San Francisco composting, recycle,

Composting bins at a Recology press briefing outside Scoma’s Restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, November 22, 2011. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Recycling has reached a milestone in San Francisco with the amount of food scraps collected through an urban compost program reaching one million tons, according to the city’s collection service, Recology.

It took 15 years to get to the million ton mark, measuring the food scraps taken to one of two compost facilities.

“We started the program in 1996 and the tonnage that we’ve been separating for compost has been increasing pretty regularly each year,” said Recology CEO Mike Sangiacomo. “I’m predicting we’ll hit our second million in five years.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Officials with Recology and the Deparment of the Environment made the announcement at a press briefing at Scoma’s Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf Tuesday.

Scoma’s was held as a model for recycling. “The employees have really kind of rallied around this, they want to do it,” said chef and buyer Kelly Bennett.

However, he said that even with the colored bin system, green for compost, blue for mixed recycling, and small black for landfill, people make mistakes.

“I do end up walking around and monitoring the trash cans once in awhile,” said Bennett.

Alexa Kielty with the Environment Department said that composting is one of the best things we can do for the environment.

“We’re able to increase the soil fertility, also (reduce) methane production, and really create healthy food systems,” said Kielty.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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