San Fran Mandates Composting

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Don't get caught trashing a banana peel in San Fran.

The city's already on the forefront of the green movement with its rigorous recycling programs, now it's passed a mandatory composting law that went into effect this week. The first such mandate in the nation, the program is the next step in mayor Gavin Newsom's plan to make San Francisco landfill-independent by the year 2020.

San Franciscans have 6 weeks to get their composting plans in order, or face a maximum $100 fine for non-compliance. Expect to see lots of city-issued green composting bins on curbs alongside standard trash cans in the coming months as residents (who are by all accounts overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the mandate) get in the simple habit of separating out their organic waste during kitchen cleanup.

One (of the many!) benefits of the program is that it gives apartment-dwellers - who typically have little to no outdoor space in which to use composted material - incentive to compost their own food scraps, since they'll be collected by the municipality and put to good use. Not a San Franciscan? Check with your city to see if there's a program you can contribute your own scraps to.

Not in San Fran but want to compost?

Check out GreenDaily's roundup of stylish countertop compost bins (like the one from GrowAndMake, pictured above), perfect for small kitchens.

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