SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and Recology announced today that the Eco Pop-up at Dolores Park diverted over 42,840 gallons of recyclables and composts from landfill from May through October this year. That is equivalent to 48.8% of the total waste collected from the entire park for the same time period. The seasonal pop-up recycling and composting spots at Mission Dolores Park, also known as the Eco Pop-ups, have staff stationed onsite to encourage park constituents to recycle and compost waste generated during their visits at the Park. In 2011, before the Park’s most recent renovation, and the launch of Eco Pop-ups, Dolores Park only recycled and composted 2% of total waste collected.
The Dolores Park Eco Pop-ups operate from 12pm to 7pm on the weekends and special events. At the pop-ups, staff and volunteers help park constituents to separate beverage containers, pizza boxes and other picnic discards into separate metal bins designated for recycling, compost, and trash.
On a busy weekend, park-goers at Dolores Park generate up to 7,000 gallons of trash. Prior to the Eco Pop-ups, all of that went to landfill. It is widely known that proper source separation of materials before collection leads to greater processability of recyclable and compostable items as well as decrease of landfill materials. As such, SF Rec and Parks in partnership with Recology, have provided the Eco Pop-ups, a staffed, large-scale recycling and compost disposal area, completed with signage, directive for use, and educational material throughout the Park to encourage park visitors to recycle and compost their waste.
The Eco Pop-up Program is one of the many steps that the City and Recology have taken to improve the trash culture at Dolores Park.
In 2016, Dolores Park reopened after a major two-year renovation to better accommodate the thousands of weekly park visitors. Funded by the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond, the Park was renovated with modern infrastructure, including ADA-complaint facilities and pathways. New bathrooms increased restroom capacity to 27 toilets; previously, there were only four. Waste management capacity was expanded from 35,000 gallons weekly to nearly 60,000 gallons per week. Recycling capacity increased dramatically, to 28,000 gallons per week, up from 1,344 gallons prior to the renovation.
The Love Dolores Campaign was also launched alongside the complete reopening of the Park in 2016. Established on Leave No Trace principals, the campaign aims to promote packing out trash and eliminating the presence of glass in the Park. Ambassadors from the Love Dolores Campaign organize weekend outreach to educate park visitors, and collaborate with local merchants and other stakeholders to promote proper ways to love Dolores Park. This combined effort has produced improvements to the trash situation.
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department