San Francisco OKs Toughest Recycling Law in the U.S.

Tossing "trash" could be costly

The City by the Bay is now the home of the nation's toughest recycling law.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 9 to 2 in favor of a mandatory recycling and composting ordinance.

It means that now, every residence and business in the city will have three of those color-coded bins for garbage: blue=recycling, green=compost, black=trash.

Those who don't follow the rule and sort properly could face heavy fines after several warnings.

Residential customers and many small businesses could be fined up to $100, the Chronicle reports, and businesses that don't have the proper bins could be hit with fines up to $500.

The City currently has the highest recycling rate in the country, at 72 percent. Mayor Gavin Newsom praised the efforts but says that's not enough.

"San Francisco has the best recycling and composting programs in the nation," Newsom said, "We can build on our success."

Newsom wants the City to reach 75 percent landfill diversion by the year 2010 and zero-waste by 2020.

The ordinance is expected to go into effect in the fall but  enforcement details are still being worked out.

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