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S.F. market ramps up waste management

by Brian Gaylord | February 17, 2009
The San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market has kicked off a new phase of its comprehensive waste management program, according to Michael Janis, general manager of the market.

"The goal is to decrease what goes to the landfill," he said. "We're aligning our merchants with the city's waste management."

The program separates waste targeted for composting, recycling and trash. San Francisco-based Sunset Scavenger Co. picks up green waste such as food scraps and other compostable material and delivers it to Jepson Prairie Organics' compost facility near Vacaville, CA. Jepson's composting program creates rich, black compost used by local farms to recondition soil.

Beginning the second week of January, the market has been reaching out to "two to four businesses each week" on its market with a waste-training program, Mr. Janis said. To help with efficient waste disposal, the market has set up its merchants with bins appropriate for the three forms of waste.

"Not all of our merchants were doing the compostable component" prior to this phase of waste management, Mr. Janis said. By getting involved, companies can both save money and help the environment, he said.