San Francisco Keep Tabs on Residents' Trash to Clean Up the City's Diversion Rate

Mark Andrew Boyer looks at the work of San Francisco's "municipal cart auditors" a team of city employed trash diggers who scour the city's cans for scofflaw sorters as part of a broader effort to become 100-percent "waste-free" by 2020.

Boyer tags along with James Slattery, an assistant coordinator with the city's Department of Environment who heads "San Francisco's first-of-its-kind trash monitoring and neighborhood outreach program."

"To help improve the city's landfill diversion rate, Slattery and his crew pound the pavement, both in the early morning and in the evening, keeping tabs on what's being thrown out and educating people about the three-bin system," writes Boyer. "The early-morning cart monitors are armed with clipboards, and they take notes about the trash sorting behavior of each household, which is later entered into a database and given to the outreach crew."

"'Bad, bad, bad,' says [Nora] Calderon [on of Slattery's colleagues], shaking her head as she peered into the bins in front of a small home. 'This goes in here,' she says, pointing to pieces of plastic packaging that had been put in the black bin instead of the blue recycling bin. She makes a note of it and moves to the next house. There's no time to waste, because it's garbage day, and the crew has to remain a few blocks ahead of the trash collectors."

Full Story: San Francisco's Trash Inspectors Get Up Earlier Than You Do

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