BRIDGET’S IDGETS: San Fran Mayor Proposes Fines for Unsorted Trash
Help!! I’m living in a communist state and I can’t get out!!!! Somebody come and rescue me!!!
Gavin Newsome is unbelievable!!! When will San Fran get rid of him?? He now wants to have garbage men inspecting the trash to see if its sorted correctly?? And if it’s not, the people are fined??? California is getting on my nerves more and more every day! Why can’t we just be left alone to run our own lives!!! \
HEY GOV’T, BUTT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
S.F. Mayor Proposes Fines For Unsorted Trash
San Francisco Chronicle
John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, August 1, 2008
Garbage collectors would inspect San Francisco residents’ trash to make sure pizza crusts aren’t mixed in with chip bags or wine bottles under a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
And if residents or businesses don’t separate the coffee grounds from the newspapers, they would face fines of up to $1,000 and eventually could have their garbage service stopped.
The plan to require proper sorting of refuse would be the nation’s first mandatory recycling and composting law. It would direct garbage collectors to inspect the trash to make sure it is put into the right blue, black or green bin, according to a draft of the legislation prepared by the city’s Department of the Environment.
The program is designed to limit the amount of food and foliage that goes into the city-contracted landfill in Alameda County, where the refuse takes up costly space and decomposes to form methane, one of the most potent of greenhouse gases. It will also help San Francisco, which city officials say currently diverts 70 percent of its waste from landfills, achieve a goal set by the Board of Supervisors to divert 75 percent by 2010 and have zero waste by 2020.
“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 Thursday. “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.”
Skeptics call Newsom’s plan unworkable and see it as the latest intrusion from heavy-handed city government, which has outlawed smoking in parks and feeding pigeons in much of the city.
Duboce Triangle resident Mark Cromwell, a 53-year-old personal assistant, called the proposed law “laughable.”
“Do we want our garbage collectors to be the meter maids of trash?” Cromwell said. “Good luck placing blame on the recycling criminal, especially in big apartment buildings. I will stop recycling if this law goes into effect just to become an eventual test case. Dictators are anathema, no matter which side of the political spectrum they come from.”
The company with the city’s garbage and recycling contract also is hesitant to take on enforcement, saying it could slow down service and require extra data entry and information tracking.
“We support the goals of the proposed ordinance but believe it needs refinements to be workable for everyone involved, especially the customers,” said Robert Reed, a spokesman for Norcal Waste Systems. Norcal is the parent company of San Francisco collectors Sunset Scavenger Co. and Golden Gate Disposal and Recycling Co.
“We are concerned about draft provisions that envision our drivers policing the contents of refuse containers and possibly withholding service if violations were found,” Reed said. “A significant increase in time required to service each customer location would mean we would need to have more routes, which means more drivers, trucks, fuel and related resources.”
The proposal, which city officials said the mayor could bring to the Board of Supervisors in about a month, calls for every residence and business in the city to have three separate color-coded bins for waste: blue for recycling, green for compost and black for trash.
Food vendors would have to supply them for customers. Managers of multifamily or commercial properties would be required to provide them for tenants or employees.
Trash collectors would be required to check the bins for proper sorting, which Blumenfeld said would require only a cursory visual inspection, not combing through the contents.
If they found a bin with the wrong material in it, collectors would leave a tag on the container identifying the problem. A second time would result in another tag and a written notice to the service subscriber.