If San Francisco can do it…


… why not Penang and the rest of Malaysia? We don’t need incinerators and more land-fills, just a well thought out recycling, composting and waste reduction policy.

Thanks to sinyc for the heads-up on this GreenBiz article:

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 11:  Norcal Waste worker ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Recycling and composting helped the city of San Francisco divert 77 percent of its garbage from landfills in 2008, which it hailed as a national record and the highest of any city in the U.S.

The city’s performance pushed it past its 2010 waste diversion goal two years early. The Northern California city wanted to divert 75 percent of its waste from the local landfill by 2010, and to send no waste to landfills by 2020.

In 2008, the city of San Francisco diverted 1.64 million tons of waste, out of 2.14 millions tons of waste generated. In 2007, the city’s waste diversion rate was 72 percent.

The city credits its recycling and composting programs with helping it reduce landfill waste. The figures, however, are for 2008, the last year for which data is available. But it wasn’t until late 2009 that the city’s mandatory recycling and composting program went into effect requiring all residences and businesses to compost food scraps, yard trimmings and soiled paper.

Since the law went into effect, composting in the city has risen 45 percent to nearly 600 tons of compostable materials a day, compared to 400 tons a year ago.

“We’ve beat the 75 percent goal, so now our push is to get to zero waste by 2020,” Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s department of environment, said in a statement. Full article here

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As far as keeping the environment clean, at least PR states should go on a major initiative to deter littering, hold business community (that includes stall owners)to keep the surrounding clean and healthy, and ensure uncivilised dog owners who fail to pick up their pet’s pooh, to face the full brunt of the law. If we don’t start now,then when, as we are already in the 21st century. It is not only shameful but also saddens those among us who desire a CLEAN and GREEN environment to put up with our lame public who brazenly discard all sorts of waste… Read more »


First of all, Sean, thks. I thought media should play a part too in keeping the city/town clean. Star has the sms’s column. Gelak K, i meant it good, because even your former big boss, Mr Lim Kheng Yaik, has confirmed that Gerakan is dead… in Penang… Bro, out of goodwill, please dont use a dead name… bad feng shui… Please read Colour Blind’s last paragraph, TQ! Yes, it is a cold harsh world out there but that does not mean that you have to make it colder and harder, why not we all make it a bit warmer for… Read more »

Gerakan K

Ask PAS to drop hudud first. Then I will consider for supporting PR.

Sang Kancil

Yeah, but the city of San Francisco is still a dump. This is from first-hand experience from a current local.


A simple step to start with: to provide recycled bins in housing areas. I hardly see any such bins around except occasionally found in shopping malls!

In Singapore, there are recycled bins beneath every housing block!!


“I sms-ed Star paper” – don’t do that, littering must be against the law, mustn’t it? You can email RMP: [email protected]

Or I see SMS numbers on the bonnets or roofs of their cars, but there’s no mention on their website – is that a local (to state perhaps?) operation, the SMS thing?


Hello friend, Gelak k (for feng shui purposes, i think it would be wise to change to Gelak k because Gerakan sudah mati la, Gelak is a much nicer word, gelak ketawa, ya?) Gelak k, now i now, you are a katak in your own world (once a lovely Malaysia) when u said, “it is impossible”. The angmo countries are practising all this la. Ya, in a way, I agree, this Boleh Land is only possible with one thing – corruption, and the BN politicians do it exceedingly well… Syabas !!! Now, at least, i can understand your mindset better…… Read more »

Gerakan K

Moral standard of everyone is not same. However I do respect your chosen name in this blog. Of course I can give you a number of better names which you did to me but I refrain to do so. However, as I said, it is not possible to get implemented in Malaysia unless there are fundamental changes in our daily lifestyle and habit. Can you stop buying packaged products like instant drinks or noodles ??? Can everyone implements paperless office ??? Ooops, by the way people like you who believe the September 16 project of course have the difficulty to… Read more »


Its not a matter of can Penang do it. If a State Govt have the power vested in them to do things then we all might have voted on who gets the Datuk Bandar / City or Town Mayor seat. Garbage disposal is the City Hall / Mayor’s baby. Chief Minister and his office can only make suggestions and insist that their plans be included. But when their paymaster is the Feds (umno)this is where the problem lies. The Feds are not interested in running effective plans.As effective plans will not feed their own people.(contractors) Millions of ringgit are wasted… Read more »


Frags, if you wish to see a more disciplined society, we have to start with the young minds in schools…education is the solution and don’t expect overnight transformation! “Rome was not build in a day”
Equally, the authority must play its part, upgrading the system of waste disposal…with a BN govt, don’t expect too much!

Ong Eu Soon

Our politicians simply have no brain! You just can’t expect them to do anything. Knowledge wise they are rather limited, vision wise the best they can have is 2020 which 20m far sight 20cm near sight. That is how best they can see or visualize. They call themselves leader when they are needed to provide direction, instructions and visions, they behave like they are just followers. What to do we are in Bolehland?


Have to agree that people’s attitude towards garbage disposal must change if the scheme is too ever take off. This is because we tend to throw everything we have into 1 plastic beg and then into the refuse bin outside. The standard council bin we see in most western countries is not suitable as many (if not,ALL) houses have a rubbish ‘hole’ built into the gate which is of various sizes (and also small). Likewise, the bin is designed to hold only certain amount as their collection is not as frequent as Malaysia owing to the weather, hence their rubbish… Read more »


San Francisco, the hippy capital of USA. I’m not surprised. But well done to them. Thats a tough goal to reach.

I think in Malaysia we should make people be more conscious of the environment and their neighborhood first. To much apathy over here.

Ahmad Syafiq

Yes I definitely agree Frags. It will take many years to reverse the die-hard habit of Malaysians in general. “TAK APA”. That is the phenomenon we should get rid off in the long term. The initiative does not start from the top. It comes from us, the rakyat. We do a small bit and I’m sure the rest will follow.


Why don’t we send our waste to Singapore, since they are still actively engaged in land reclamation projects. They get free refills and we found a way to dispose them….mutual benefits! Let save the land so that, we can dig enough holes to bury all our corrupted politicians….hehe

Gerakan K

This is not possible. In order to do it we must change our lifestyle.

Eg, buy no more of 3 in 1 coffee, chocolate drinks, etc.

No more canned/bottled foods and drinks, eg individual pack biscuits, etc.

Introduce rubbish tax. Create more rubbish and you are required to pay more rubbish tax.

Introduce bonus point for each item being recycled. Example, 1 tin can = 1 point and so on. The bonus points accumulated may be converted to cash or products.

Ahmad Syafiq

It’s not just about changing part of our lifestyle Gerakan K, it’s also about changing our bad habits. For a start, we must stop littering all over the place. Stop throwing tissues into toilets, stop throwing cigarette butts on the streets, and so on and so forth.


What about having LGE and his gang going for ‘lawatan sambil belajar’ at San Francisco?

Certainly this is a good ‘gerakan’ (move) to learn and adopt (not forgeting a bit of R&R).

Gerakan K

They went there for work or holiday ???

Anyway, what is the subsequent actions after the trips ???

Business as usual ??? LOL !!!


He said ‘what if’. And what did KSK do for Penang previously? Penang has improved so much in terms of cleanliness under the LGE administration.

Gerakan K

I pick the noticeable one. KTK contributed by bring in plenty of MNCs with gigantic investments and consequently providing plenty of jobs to the local Penang boys and gals.

What about LGE ??? Give away free money to boost his image !!!


I’m all for recycling/reusing/reducing/composting!

Ever since we started recycling at home, out garbage output has dropped dramatically!