|San Francisco, CA
Under former mayor Gavin Newsom, whose final term ended in 2011, San Francisco instituted a mandatory recycling and composting ordinance, which means that all people within the city are required by law not only to separate their recyclables from their trash, but to also separate out compostable food and packaging. In October 2012, the city’s current mayor, Ed Lee, announced that 80 percent of the city’s waste is going to recycling and composting facilities, instead of to landfills. That means the city leads America in sustainable waste disposal. The San Francisco Bay Area is also home to nearly 700 LEED-certified building projects, and over a thousand more projects under development.