San Francisco was the first big city in the U.S. to offer composting to all residents. And by 2009, it had made composting and recycling mandatory. More than 500 tons of compostable materials collected from green bins every day is turned into high-quality compost, which is sold to local farms, vineyards, and orchards, offsetting program costs and creating jobs. Enriching soil helps farmers grow healthy crops and adds moisture in areas prone to drought and wildfire. More than 135 countries have studied the city's system firsthand and now the state is set to enact statewide composting for all. San Francisco offers practical lessons. Outreach and education are important, from pictures on green bins showing what can be composted to a regular newsletter. Involving young people through schools is vital. Recently, they introduced 'composting advocates' in apartment buildings where nearly 65% of residents live. There are now 100 of such advocates.

Read Full Story