In celebration of Earth Day, Recology hands out 12 truckloads of nutrient-rich planting mix made from food scraps and plant cuttings collected in San Francisco’s green bin program.


Today, Recology hosted the Great Compost Giveaway as a thank you to San Francisco residents for their participation in the curbside compost collection program. Hosted at four locations throughout San Francisco, the giveaway brings resident’s food scraps and plant trimmings full circle: the material that was once tossed in green bins is converted into a gourmet planting mix and given back to residents for use in home gardens.

The annual event, hosted by Recology, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Department of the Environment, gives away up to 10 gallons of the gourmet planting soil to each participating resident in celebration of Earth Day and as a way to say “thank you” for recycling and composting. Since San Francisco’s green bin composting program began in 1996, more than 1.3 million tons of food scraps, plants and soiled paper have been collected by Recology, keeping the material out of landfill, reducing methane emissions, and returning nutrients to local farms. Through source reduction, reuse, and recycling and composting programs, the San Francisco has achieved an 80 percent waste diversion rate from landfill disposal.

“This amazing annual event attracts residents from all corners of town who have embraced the City’s goal of Zero Waste by 2020,” said Mike Sangiacomo, President and CEO of Recology. “Composting is no longer a new bold idea; it has become a way of life for San Franciscans. The Compost Giveaway also allows San Franciscans to create healthy, thriving gardens with the compost they helped create.”

This year’s Compost Giveaway also commemorated the launch of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Urban Agriculture Resource Center at the Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden. The City opened the resource center as a place where City residents can pick up compost and other gardening supplies. Recology will donate and deliver compost to the resource center on a regular basis.

“Making locally-produced compost available to San Franciscans is an important step in expanding and supporting urban agriculture, and we are excited to offer this resource just in time for spring gardening,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. “Using compost is the most sustainable, environmentally supportive and efficient way to garden, and we are excited to offer this Urban Agriculture Resource Center to encourage gardening throughout the City and continue to promote Zero Waste in San Francisco.”

Record numbers of San Francisco residents are scheduled to turn out to collect their planting soil. The event was hosted at four locations throughout the City:

• Marina Green, 200 Marina Blvd. across from Safeway
• McLaren Park, 21 John F. Shelley Dr., Amphitheater Upper Parking Lot
• Ocean Beach, 850 Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Fulton St.
• Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden, 780 Frederick St. near Arguello St.

“Eleven years ago, San Francisco set out to be the first City in the nation to achieve Zero Waste,” said Joshua Arce, San Francisco Environment Commission President. “Residents and businesses have taken that challenge to heart by actively composting and recycling, helping get us one step closer to our goal of Zero Waste by 2020. We are proud of events like this that promote sustainability and advance urban agriculture in San Francisco.”

The finished compost, applied to more than 300 farms and vineyards in Northern California, is one of the most nutrient-rich soil amendments in the country because it is made from a diverse feed stock rich in food scraps.

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