Beginning Wednesday, San Francisco residents and businesses will be compelled by law to separate food waste and other compostable materials for curbside collection. Passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June, the ordinance is part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s attempt to move city toward a 75 percent diversion rate in 2010 and a 100 percent rate in 2020.

Under the law, San Franciscans must separate waste into three bins: one for trash, one for recyclables and one for compostable materials. Those placing waste in the wrong bin could be fined, but Newsom has said San Francisco officials will only levy such penalties for repeat and flagrant violations.

More information about the new ordinance can be found at www.sfenvironment.org.