Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Mandatory food composting in San Francisco – why not here?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-06-25


Will our Oz councils, particularly the inner city ones, introduce a composting bin as well as the standard general garbage and recycling bin, and thus follow the lead of San Francisco? (Hat tip New York Times 2009-06-11)

Recidivist small residences and businesses get a $100 fine for putting the wrong thing in the wrong bin, and multi-residence buildings and larger businesses cop it sweeter at $1000.

I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have much of a problem.  At home during the week I’m extraordinarily lazy, because of all the good cheap eateries within 5 minutes walk, while over weekends on the coast, the magpies polish off the scraps.

It would be good if my local council (Stonnington) introduced this, if only up and down Glenferrie Road given all the eateries.  There’s a fair chance that with all the food bits from those eateries that the council would be able to save a fortune getting our parks in tip-top condition, and maybe even have a nice little earner on the side selling the stuff to gardening shops.  I only hope the worms have a high tolerance for caffeine from the mountains of coffee grounds!

Already my local shopping centre has separate bins in the food court for general garbage versus cartons and bottles (I don’t think they have much of a compliance problem – it’s a literate demographic here!), so I wonder it would be too difficult to add a third bin, and have a scraper so people can do the job properly.

… or are there some health regulations to prevent this?  If so, they would need to be changed, taking into account the service level agreements in those food courts for how often those bins are cleared out.

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2 Responses to “Mandatory food composting in San Francisco – why not here?”

  1. Extreme government enforcement of extreme environmentalism – the lefty’s wet dream!

  2. Dave Bath said

    Mick,

    It’s probably just as much a cost-saving measure as an environmental measure, because the expensive part is the separation. Amortize the costs of the new bins over their lifespan, and the councils would either be able to lower rates or improve services. But I’m only crunching the numbers in my gut there!

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