POLICY DATABASE
Policy Summary

The law requires all residents sort their refuse and separate out waste that is recyclable or compostible. It also requires owners and managers of multi-family housing, food vendors, event operators to provide for appropriate waste/recycling/composting collection containers.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name San Francisco
Jurisdiction Type City, County,
Population Size 800,000+
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
  • Prohibits/discourages something
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Surplus

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?
No

Health-related goal?
Yes

Section 1, Par. 1 of findings states: "The City and County of San Francisco has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy, and the health of its citizens." Section 1, Par. 16 also refers to the law as being part of creating and maintaing "a healthy and viable environment for current and future generations, and will become a model of sustainability."

Environmental goal?
Yes

Findings include many references to environmental impact of dealing with waste, including studies and reports about how much waste and what types of waste are generated by San Franciscans. Section 1, Par. 1 of findings states: "The City and County of San Francisco has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy, and the health of its citizens." There are also specific references to food waste: Par. 11 states: "a comprehensive study found that 36% of what San Francisco sends to landfills is compostable (primarily food scraps) .. . . and this breakdown essentially applies to all sectors (residential, commercial and City government)." Section 1, Par. 16 also refers to the law as being part of creating and maintaing "a healthy and viable environment for current and future generations, and will become a model of sustainability."

Economic goal?
Yes

Section 1, Par. 1 of findings states: "The City and County of San Francisco has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy, and the health of its citizens."

Includes findings?
Yes

Section 1 includes several findings relating to waste generation in San Francisco.

Has a stated intent or purpose?
Yes

Sec. 1, Par. 16 sums it up: "In keeping with the Precautionary Principle, codified in Chapter 1 of the Environment Code, this Chapter requires diversion of recyclable or compostable materials from landfill for beneficial use as a deterrent to unsafe and wasteful practices. In this way, the City will create and maintain a healthy, viable environment for current and future generations, and will become a model of sustainability."

Includes definitions?
Yes

See Sec. 1902

Addresses implementation?
Yes

Director of the Dept of the Environment (Sec. 1908(a); and 1909).

Enforcement provisions?
Yes

Fines (Sec. 1908).

Evaluation component?
No

Requires extra investment?
No

Code context and ordinance history

Uncodified ordinance that amended the San Francisco Environment Code by adding Chapter 19, 4 Sections 1901 through 1912; amended the San Francisco Public Works Code by amending Section 173, and amending the San Francisco Health Code by amending Sections 291, 291.1, 291.2, 291.4, 291.7, 291.11, 291.12, 291.15, 291.17, and 293.1, and by repealing current Sections 291.9 and 291.16 and adding a new Section 291.16. Did not check codified laws for updates because multiple code sections were involved.