San Francisco, which already boasts one of the most aggressive recycling programs in the country, has upped the ante — vowing to levy fines of up to US$1,000 on those unwilling to separate their Kung Pao chicken leftovers from their newspapers.
The Board of Supervisors passed new recycling and mandatory composting rules on Tuesday in a 9-2 vote. The city already diverts 72 percent of the 2.1 million tonens of waste its residents produce each year away from landfills and into recycling and composting programs. The new law will help the city toward its goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2020, said Jared Blumenfeld, director of the city’s Department of the Environment.
Under the new law, all city residents will be issued three mandatory garbage bins: a black one for trash, a blue one for recyclables and a green one for compost.
Garbage collectors who spot orange peels or aluminum soda cans lurking in a black trash bin will leave a note reminding citizens how to separate their trash properly. Anyone found repeatedly flouting recycling protocol will be issued fines of US$100 for small businesses and single-family homes, and up to $1,000 for large businesses and multi-unit buildings. The city has put a moratorium on all fines until 2011 while residents learn the ropes.
The reaction to the new rules were as mixed as, well, recyclables.
“This takes big brother to an extreme I’m not comfortable with,” said Sean Elsbernd, one of two supervisors who voted against the proposal. “I don’t want the government going through my garbage cans.”
Garbage cops snooping through the curbside refuse is not the intent of the new law, said Nathan Ballard, spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“We are not going to throw you in the clink for putting your coffee grounds in the wrong bin,” Ballard said. “Fines will only be imposed in egregious cases.”
Newsom, who proposed the legislation last month and doggedly championed it, is expected to sign it into law within 30 days.
The city’s most notorious recycling laggards tend to be owners of apartment buildings, Blumenfeld said.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big