Worrying about the Environment

Click on words in bold for a definition

Many people are worried about the environment. They are afraid that people are making the air, water, and land dirty. They think it is not good for the future. They worry because companies that manufacture things aren't careful and can harm the environment. They worry because people throw too much away. They worry when people don't understand how to do little things to help the environment. They think that education will help people understand better.

One way people can help is to remember the saying, Reduce, reuse, recycle. Click on the words below to see what they mean.

Where does our garbage go?

San Francisco garbage collections are made every week. You put your garbage can full of trash out in front of your house on a certain day every week. The garbage collectors empty it into their garbage trucks. What happens to the garbage after that? The trucks take the garbage to a landfill. A landfill is a place where they bury garbage. They try to fix the landfill so the garbage won't leak out. The garbage is covered with earth.

Most of San Francisco's garbage is sent to the Altamont Landfill. A landfill can only take a certain amount of garbage. After it is full, it can't take any more. If we send less garbage to the landfill, we will be able to use it longer.

San Francisco Waste Diversion

California law says that all cities must have 50% waste diversion. Only 50% of their waste can go to the landfill. In 2002, San Francisco set a goal of 75% waste diversion by 2010. Click the button to see how San Francisco is doing.

San Francisco Recycling

At first, the garbage collection companies gave San Francisco residents a blue box for their recyclables. People had to separate the newspapers from the bottles and the cans. Then they started a new program called the Fantastic Three. In the new program, residents get three carts of different colors. The blue one is for recyclables, the green one is for food and yard trimmings, and the black one is for other garbage. You can mix all the recyclable material together. Click on the Recyclables, Compostables, or Garbage button to get more information about what you can put in the cart.

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