San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Zero Waste by 2020

What Does Zero Waste Mean?

Zero waste means that we send zero discards to the landfill or high-temperature destruction. Instead, products are designed and used according to the principle of highest and best use and the waste reduction hierarchy:

Everyday Actions Towards Zero Waste

Even though San Francisco has dramatically reduced the amount sent to landfills, half of what is sent can still be recycled or composted.

Composting and recycling more can help residents, businesses and city government save money, conserve natural resources, and protect our climate. San Francisco has already set a North American record for recycling & composting, but we'll need your help to reach zero waste. 

Is Zero Waste Possible? 

The City and County of San Francisco believes achieving zero waste is possible. In San Francisco, over half of what still goes in the landfill bins can be recycled in the blue bin or composted in the green bin. When all material is sent to the correct bins, San Francisco’s diversion rate can increase from 80 percent to 90 percent. SF Environment will continue to promote best practices, including waste prevention, recycling and composting.

To achieve 100 percent zero waste, SF Environment will continue to advocate for state legislation and partner with producers to develop a producer responsibility system, where producers design better products and take responsibility for the entire life-cycle of a product, including take-back and recycling.

Zero Waste Resources



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