to be clear, san franciscans wouldn't actually be required to actually keep a compost bin--food waste and other compostables could go directly into their green container. i like to keep tabs on the trash in my neighborhood. it's interesting to go for a walk on garbage pickup day and see who's put out what, between the brown (garbage), green (yard waste) and blue (recyclable) cans. who's brown can is always overflowing? who never puts out a green can? my across-the-street neighbors are notorious for having trash blowing down the street because their garbage can is too full. much of the crap that gets away is actually recyclable, too--milk containers, cardboard, junk mail, etc. and if you're wondering, yes, they still have the mirrored headboard on their front porch.
anyhow, i do think that this new legislation--though realistically not likely to be enforced--is a good attempt at furthering an eco-awareness among city-dwellers that might not give much thought to the afterlife of their table scraps. this bit of the linked article really struck home with me, especially because of my own decades-long experience with composting:
"Ballard predicts that recycling food scraps eventually will seem as ho-hum as saving aluminum cans and newspapers.
"That used to seem like such a chore," he said. "Now we do it every day."
isn't that the truth about so many lifestyle changes?