Composting Gone Wild

foodscraps Dang! Here’s a business model that past me by, back in the day of saving our daily scraps and turning them into our garden compost pile. It was good rich stuff, mostly, and made us feel virtuous and way cutting edge as we harvested our zukes, lettuce, radishes and what all; this was back in 1970 my friends. Seems as if San Francisco has taken it to a whole different level.

Every morning, garbage trucks swing by the Hotel Nikko, the Palace Hotel and MoMo’s, picking up food left on dinner plates and in San Francisco chefs’ kitchens. Green crews hit neighborhoods from the Mission to the Sunset, collecting oatmeal, chicken bones and dead tree leaves.

About 2,000 restaurants, 2,080 large apartment buildings and 50,000 single-family homes have embraced the city’s environmentally friendly green bins. The scrap is turned into gold, a rich compost that boosts the region’s bounty of food while curbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

San Francisco’s garbage and recycling companies are leading the way in producing a high-quality, boutique compost tailored for Bay Area growers, experts say. In one year, 105,000 tons of food scraps and yard trimmings – 404 tons each weekday – get turned into 20,000 tons of compost for 10,000 acres.

The compost is in such demand from nearby growers of wine grapes, vegetables and nuts that it sells out at peak spreading season every year.

SF Gate

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