Empty milk cartons, bubble wrap, plastic bags and entire coffee cups — including paper sleeves and plastic lids — previously destined for landfills are considered recyclable as of Thursday, city and recycling leaders announced.
“We have never been closer to eliminating the need for our black bin,” said Debbie Raphael, director of the San Francisco Department of Environment. “We need to reduce waste [and] reuse what we can so that it has a life over and over again, and when we are done with things we need to put them in the right place — in the blue and in the green bins.”
In line with The City’s vision to reach zero waste — or sending no discards to landfills — by 2020, San Francisco updated its recycling program for the first time in over 15 years to allow previously unrecyclable materials to pass through blue recycle bins, rather than black bins that hold garbage.
The effort was announced Thursday at a news conference at the Memorial Court across from City Hall, and includes the rollout of new, larger bins over the next two years, starting in the Sunset District.
Residents there will soon have their black waste bins swapped with smaller, 16-gallon bins, and their blue recycle bins replaced by larger, 64-gallon bins.