With San Francisco’s mandatory waste ordinance in effect as of Wednesday, the city’s businesses and residences are now required by law to compost their food waste. This is a big shift for the city’s over 4000 restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that will now have to divert a huge section of their waste to their green bins. Luckily, there is one company uniquely poised to help San Francisco’s venues take on this challenge: 3rdSpaces.
3rdSpaces is the city’s ﬁrst entertainment venue sustainability company. CEO (and my friend) Mike Zuckerman started 3rdSpaces a number of months ago. By working closely with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, 3rdSpaces provides a service to help local venues save money through sustainability. And this new waste ordinance couldn’t have been more well-timed for the firm’s big launch.
With this new ordinance, 3rdSpaces is introducing its “We Sort” logo. Once a venue is recycling everything possible (either with the help of 3rdSpaces or without), it is qualified to publicly display a “We Sort” sticker. This alerts both its clientele as well as the city that this venue is in compliance. Zuckerman is hoping that this will help publicize the mass positive effect of the new ordinance, hopefully spreading it to other cities and states.
Since its recent inception, 3rdSpaces has helped San Francisco venues divert approximately 525 tons (equivalent to 262 cars) of waste from landﬁll, and save a total of $58,000.
Zuckerman has found in the bars and clubs he’s already worked with (including 111 Minna, Local, Supperclub, Temple Nightclub, Tipsy Pig and Vessel) that the even tiniest things can make a difference.
“Like straws,” Zuckerman points out. “I looked in the garbage bin at a bar, and every single thing in there was compostable except for the straws.” Since these are too small to sort, the solution Zuckerman came up with was compostable straws. They may be a bit more expensive, but that extra cost evens out with the rebate the bar gets for composting. And 3rdSpaces’ consulting services extend far beyond waste diversion.
“Waste compliance is an easy option for venues to save money.” Says Zuckerman. “It’s got the quickest return on investment and it serves as a gateway into other changes they can make to be more sustainable, like efficiency.”
Why focus on entertainment venues?
“I work in my own sphere of influence,” says Zuckerman. “I spend time at bars and nightclubs, therefore, I’m going to make them greener.” His goal is for 3rdSpaces to help make the entertainment sphere a sustainability leader among San Francisco industries.