SF Resource Conservation Ordinance

Requiring city facilities to prevent waste, buy products that are processed chlorine-free, non-PVC, recycled (Resource Conservation Ordinance), 2007

San Francisco, CA

 Displaying PVC products by CHEJ.org.png

Displaying PVC products by CHEJ.org.png

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

PVC usually contains phthalates, some of which are probable cancer-causing chemicals, and is the least recyclable plastic.

Chlorine bleach can release cancer-causing chemicals into water.

So San Francisco requires that city facilities buy products that are:

  • Non-PVC.  That means avoiding soft plastics (e.g., shower curtains, clear-view binders, some fake leather, carpet backing, building materials, flooring and children’s products).  Some PVC products are labelled with the recycling symbol 3.
  • Processed chlorine-free (PCF) (e.g., paper products).
  • Recyclable, and have high post-consumer recycled content and reduced packaging.

It also requires city facilities to:

  • Reuse office supplies, furniture, and electronics.
  • Reduce waste.
  • Recycle and compost.
  • Have janitorial contractors consolidate recyclables for pickup by haulers.
  • Train city department Zero Waste Coordinators.
  • Fill out an annual waste assessment questionnaire of how city departments achieve zero waste.

WHY IT'S A LEADING POLICY

Unlike similar policies from other cities, San Francisco requires:

  • Janitorial contractors to consolidate recyclables for pickup by recycling haulers.
  • Department Zero Waste Coordinators to attend instructional meetings.

GOAL

To minimize waste and create demand for recycled products by buying them.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

All City staff.

OUTCOMES

As of 2015, City staff diverted approximately 85% of its waste from the landfill.

99.8% of city facilities have green compost and blue recycling bins.

From 2008-2015, San Francisco Department of Environment trained over 18,000 City staff on how to achieve zero waste.

BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM

The city saves around $1 million in disposal costs each year by reducing waste.

CONTACT

Soko Made, City Government Zero Waste Assistant, San Francisco Department of the Environment, (415) 355-3739, Soko.Made@sfgov.org

LAST UPDATED

November 6, 2015