SF Mayor goes medieval on trash - Recycle or face $1000 fine

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

San Francisco (CA) – Newly married Gavin Newsom is just back from his honeymoon and is wasting no time in cleaning up the city.  The mayor is proposing tough, very tough, new recycling measures that require residents to properly place trash in the appropriate bins.  Violators would be fined up to $1000 and have their trash service suspended.  Mayor Newsom has been on a trash crusade and recently announced a 19% drop in litter going to the landfill.  He hopes the new measure can reduce waste another 50% in five years.

Newsom will formally present his mandatory recycling and composting law to the city’s Board of Supervisors next month.  The law requires garbage collectors (who work for a private company contracted out to the city) to inspect trash bins for the correct items.  Food waste, recycled materials and landfill trash must be placed in separate containers and people who disobey will be fined $500 on the first violation of the year.  Subsequent violations scale up to $750 and $1000.

In addition to the fines, garbage collectors will tag the bin with a nasty note on the first violation.  A written notice and a tag will given on the second violation and the workers will simply refuse to pick up your trash on following infractions.  No word yet on if the tags and written notices will be printed on recycled paper.

Fortunately, some extra thought did go into the mayor’s proposal and multi-tenant dwellings like condos and apartments will be exempt from some of the measures.  After all, you could have a horrible neighbor that keeps putting trash in your bins.