- RethinkWaste and the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA) in California launched a three-month trial enlisting select residents to recycle and compost more while their trash collection schedule drops back to alternate weeks. The intention is to help reach for a state goal of 75% waste diversion by 2020. Currently, SBWMA residential and commercial customers divert about 50%, said Cliff Feldman, the Authority's programs manager.
- The program has generated some complaints from residents who say monthly bills have only dropped by $2, despite their garbage collections being cut in half. Customers can opt out of the pilot or request free larger trash and recycling bins.
- After the pilot, once SBWMA reviews outcomes, the Authority will consider whether to expand the program.
Much landfill waste could be diverted through recycling or composting. And this is the case in San Mateo, despite community education, prompting the pilot program.
"By and large, the goal of the program is to test some new methods and test really how much more recycling and composting residents can be encouraged to do," said Feldman.
But, as other California municipalities have discovered, there are logistics and financials to work out.
Some cities have achieved good results with similar programs, while other municipalities are in the process of implementing pilots, including Toronto, San Francisco, Castro Valley, and Mountain View, Feldman said.