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Davis, California

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Editorial: Davis Recycling

Recycling cans, bottles, paper, yard waste and food scraps may become mandatory in San Francisco as a result of a proposal made by Mayor Gavin Newsom. The proposal also aims for a 75 percent recycling rate by implementing organics recycling. San Francisco has taken on responsibility for its waste and has progressively decided to compost organic material instead of adding to landfills.

In contrast, Davis, a city that prides itself on beinggreen, is falling far behind in waste accountability in terms of recycling plastics and organic matter.

The concept of implementing an effective plastics and organics recycling program is not a difficult one to grasp or to institute. The Public Works Department has argued that Davis is a leader in innovative programs and outreach techniques in terms of recycling. However, the iBIN, a program for recycling plastics, is not a progressive effort since other less notablygreen cities have even catered to composting needs. Moreover, only 0.3 percent of citizens attend an annual composting course hosted by the city.

Davis should address whether it would be more effective to take responsibility for green waste by composting, especially if the city is concerned about citizen participation. The city’s Green Waste Containerization pilot project was scrapped and green waste was neither given containers nor was it composted by the city. Furthermore, green waste lying on the street remains a hazard to bikers regardless of how extensively striped bike lanes become. It is worrisome that this is Davis idea of progressiveness when it really is just an example of ineffectiveness and stagnation.

Davis recycling rate remains at below 50 percent when San Francisco, a city with much more waste to be accountable for, aims at a 75 percent rate. Even the recycling rate at UC Davis is higher than the city as a result of exemplary programs created by R4 Zero Waste and Project Compost. The campus is concerned with waste material sitting in a landfill and contributing to global warming. Isn’t it about time the city takes responsibility and makes efforts toward truly progressive and effective methods for recycling? Davis has no legitimacy in claiming it is a leader in recycling if it cannot even create waste management programs that properly incorporate different recyclable materials.

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