June 17, 2009

New, Expanded Recycling Program Unveiled Aboard Golden Gate Ferry

Unique Transportation/Sanitation Partnership Created to Reduce Waste

 

Today, June 17, 2009, in a unique partnership, Golden Gate Ferry (GGF), an operating division of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, and Marin Sanitary Service (MSS) unveiled a new nautical-based recycling program. The partnership is the first of its kind for MSS and aims to divert even more waste from the landfill as part of MSS’s WasteNot Strategy.

Public transit helps to create a healthier environment by reducing smog-producing pollutants and greenhouse gases as it produces nearly 50 percent less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile as private vehicles. They do this primarily by reducing private vehicle trips.

And GGF is doing their part. GGF has been reducing its environmental impact with various initiatives. The most vital one being the program to systematically replace the engines on all seven ferry vessels with new, more modern and efficient engines. The next logical “next step” at Golden Gate Ferry was to help improve our environment by reducing the waste going to landfills by instituting a new recycling program.

Golden Gate Ferry has been informally recycling for decades, but it was not as effective as we knew it could be. It was time to collaborate and expand and improve the program.

Golden Gate Ferry turned to the local waste recovery experts at MSS who agreed to partner with us to work out the logistics for a new, effective and comprehensive recycling program.

The new recycling program is pretty straight forward: we obtained the appropriate U.S. Coast Guard clearances to address any post 9-11 security issues and added three collection bins on each deck of all of our vessels - 1 for paper and 1 for plastic/metal/glass. And shore-side, we added eight 64-gallon bins to off load the recycling after each trip. The contents of these bins are then collected by MSS every Monday and Friday. We also added several collection bins in the terminal waiting area. The cost of the recycling bins was split between Golden Gate Ferry and MSS, and totaled about $2,500.

terminal
vessel

 

The new program began on June 1, 2009, and as of June 17, MSS had collected over a ton of recycled materials so far!

Ton for ton, recycling reduces more pollution, saves more energy and reduces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other activity except source reduction [1]. MSS, a family owned and operated business for over 50 years, has relentlessly pursued zero waste since its inception. MSS includes Marin Resource Recovery and the Marin Recycling Center. Together they serve Marin County’s recycling and refuse needs.

It is local community partnerships like this one that reminds us all of the importance of working together to solve problems and make life better for all of us…whenever possible!

[1] http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/2007/01/reduction_of_gr.html