June 17, 2013
San Francisco readies $500 fines for bad recyclers

If you can't embarrass people into proper recycling habits as in the case of Seattle you can always go the route of San Francisco and fine the people who refuse to sign up for the city's recycling and composting services. On top of that you could also fine those who don't sort their garbage properly by putting recyclable material into landfill-bound garbage bins.

Amid fears that this will see the institution of garbage policethe Board of Supervisors in San Francisco are considering a new ordinance that would require homeowners and commercial building owners to sign up for their recycling and composting service. For those that don`t they could be facing fines of $500.

The thing is this is happening in a city that already has the highest recycling rate in the nation, at 72 percent. However in a drive to reach a goal of 75 percent landfill diversion by 2010 and zero waste by 2020 city officials think they need to get a little more drastic.

In order to assuage fears of city garbage police poking through garbage bins the city is giving a free pass to buildings lacking the space for bins and will not fine owners of multi-unit buildings for lazy tenants who don`t sort their garbage. As well for small-residential owners the ordinance calls for fines in only the most egregious, repeated case of "contamination" where the fines would top out at the $100 mark.