The West Coast leads the way with innovative Recycling Programs
West Coast cities such as San Francisco, Portland and Seattle have recently become leaders in the effort to reduce the size of landfills by enacting a myriad of cutting-edge recycling programs. The New York Times reports that in Portland, a new biweekly garbage pickup schedule will cut back on the waste sent to landfills by 44 percent. In San Francisco composting has become part of the daily routine for many single-family homes and has contributed to the 78 percent of waste that is recycled and reused by local residents (while the national average stands at a measly 34 percent). The city is also exploring innovative ways of recycling notoriously difficult materials, such as foam and complex plastics. While in Seattle, the bright colors and intelligent new design of the South Waste Transfer Station will give this kind of building a more positive reputation within the community and serve as a more efficient interior workspace. Although the small population size of these cities makes these kinds of recycling programs relatively easier to enact, they serve as important and inspiring examples of what cities across America can do to cut back and reuse waste rather than increasing the mass of landfills.