San Francisco Wins Gold When It Comes To Green

Monday, Aug 30, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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San Francisco Wins Gold When It Comes To Green

Associated Press

Take all of those aluminum cans and silver tabs to the nearest recycling center. Not only are you doing your part to cut down on trash, but you can also make a few dollars doing it!

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San Francisco residents recycled at a higher rate than any other large city in the country in 2008, according to figures released Friday by  the mayor's office.

      The city's environment department said San Francisco's 77 percent landfill diversion rate -- which includes recycling, composting and reuse of  materials -- not only exceeded the city's 75 percent target, but is the highest rate of any major metropolitan city in the United States.
     
In 2008 -- the most recent numbers available -- San Francisco recycled, composted and reused more than 1.6 million tons of trash, according  to the city.
     
Mayor Gavin Newsom said the city's recycling efforts are not only helping the environment, but are also adding green, local jobs.
     
"The recycling industry trains and employs men and women in local environmental work that can't be outsourced and sent overseas, creating 10  times as many jobs as sending material to landfills," Newsom said in a prepared statement.
     
The city has an additional goal of zero waste by 2020.
     
"If we captured everything going to landfill that can be recycled or composted in our programs, we'd have a 90 percent recycling rate," said Environment Director Melanie Nutter.
     
Nutter added that work is needed on the state and federal level to change manufacturing and packaging regulations to minimize waste and maximize recycling.

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