Best prac­tice: San Fran­cisco

Element - - BUSINESS -

In re­cent years San Fran­cisco (be­low) has achieved the high­est re­cy­cling rate of any ma­jor city in Canada or the US, di­vert­ing 80 per cent of its waste away from land­fill. Be­gin­ning with a range of new re­cy­cling laws put in place in 2009, San Fran­cisco res­i­dents are re­quired to sep­a­rate re­cy­clables, com­posta­bles and land­fill rub­bish, and build­ing de­sign rules en­sure proper space is al­lowed for re­cy­cling col­lec­tion in new build­ings. The city has also banned the use of plas­tic bags and non-recyclable sty­ro­foam-type con­tain­ers in shops and restau­rants. It has added a 20c ‘lit­ter tax’ to the price of a packet of cigarettes and banned Yel­low Pages from de­liv­er­ing their books un­less res­i­dents have ex­plic­itly opted in to the ser­vice. Bot­tled water is no longer pur­chased by any of San Fran­cisco’s city de­part­ments and the author­ity’s pro­cure­ment rules now strongly favour re­cy­cled prod­ucts as the first choice for lo­cal author­ity pur­chases.

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