Anna Shaff
Christian Science Monitor
August 12, 2008

San Francisco – Ever-perceived by the rest of the nation as perched on the fringe of rationality, San Francisco is about to flip its lid once again. The lid’s color, if it’s any comfort, is green – as in one of the three recycling bins into which its residents will be forced to sort their food waste.

The consequences for the unwilling, if the mayor has his way? Fines up to $1,000 from the garbage police.

I kid you not. Mayor Gavin Newsom is taking the leap from voluntary environmental engagement to an enforced one. You will recycle, or you’ll be outed, says the legislation drafted by the city’s Department of the Environment.

Other cities have mandatory recycling. San Francisco is upping the ante, creating the first composting law, directing where you’ll dish your table scraps.

Currently, 70 percent of waste escapes the landfill. To meet a goal of recycling 75 percent by 2010, the mayor is about to displace voluntary compliance with mandatory enforcement.

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