Commercial and Multi-Family Dwelling
Technical Assistance in San Francisco
Client: San Francisco Department of the Environment
Date: June 2016 - June 2019
Key Personnel: Laura McKaughan, Project Lead
√ Technical assistance provided for over 60 commercial and MFD sites.
√ Established new service and/or right-sized service levels at sites when appropriate.
√ Assisted customers to come into compliance with mandatory recycling and organics ordinance and avoid significant rate increases.
The San Francisco Department of the Environment hired a team of on-call consultants that included Envirolutions Consulting Principal Laura McKaughan to provide technical assistance, or “Zero Waste Assistance,” to commercial and multifamily dwelling (MFD) customers. The customers were referred to the Zero Waste Assistance team after failing a visual audit of their trash, recycling, and/or organics bins. Technical assistance included walkthroughs with management to make suggestions for interior bin set up or additional signage, trainings for staff and management, and clarifying what materials are acceptable in each bin.
Envirolutions Consulting worked with over 60 commercial and MFD sites in the first year of this contract and conducted recycling presentations at nearly every site we worked with. The trainings included reviewing posters made available by Recology San Francisco followed by a verbal quiz using props to ensure the audience correctly understood the information imparted. Probably the largest site we ever worked with, Yerba Buena Gardens, required hosting over 10 recycling trainings for this customer alone, providing assistance to every restaurant and commercial establishment in the entire complex and a training for common-area maintenance as well.
Beginning in 2016, the San Francisco Department of the Environment began assessing substantial processing fees for commercial and MFD customers with significant amounts of “divertible” (i.e. recycling and organic) materials in their landfill carts and contamination fees for any contamination in the recycling and organics carts. Because of this, customers were highly incentivized to promote waste diversion to avoid an increase of 50% or greater on their trash bill. The work of Envirolutions Consulting and the Zero Waste Assistance team helped commercial and MFD customers avoid paying costly fees and resulted in greater waste diversion for the City and County of San Francisco.