San Francisco law requires construction companies to recycle
Bay City News Service
July 5, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A new city law mandating the recycling
of construction materials took effect this week and it has already
boosted production for several local waste-management companies.
The Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Ordinance, introduced
by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Fiona Ma, took effect Saturday
and requires that all contractors in the city send their waste
to a certified facility instead of straight to a landfill.
Construction waste generated in San Francisco, which includes
wood, metal, sheetrock, concrete, asphalt, bricks, cardboard and
hard plastics, accounts for more than 100,000 tons of landfill
every year, according to SF Environment, the city's environmental
Many in construction already reuse and scavenge materials or
send their waste for recycling but Supervisors hope the ordinance,
passed in February, will increase the amount of materials recovered
by eight percent.
With the new law taking effect, workers at a Norcal Waste Systems,
Inc. center have been working extra hard, according to spokesman
Robert Reed. Three crews sorted through 400 tons of waste today
alone, and in the coming days a fourth crew will be added, Reed
There are at least ten facilities in San Francisco that accept
waste for recycling, and several more are located throughout the
Only about 65 to 70 percent of construction waste is recyclable,
according to Reed. Workers sort through the waste by hand as it
rolls by on a conveyer belt. They also use shaker screens and
magnets to separate reusable materials.
Asphalt and concrete are crushed up to build new roads and sidewalks,
metals can be melted down, and wooden materials can be chipped
up and sent to power plants to generate energy. SF Environment
provides a list of certified drop-off spots on its Web site www.sfenvironment.com.
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