compost.jpgU.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson visited a recycling facility in San Francisco this afternoon as part of a tour to promote President Obama’s jobs plan and federal efforts to promote sustainability.

Jackson visited Recology’s Recycle Central station at Pier 96 following Obama’s speech last week on his plan to create more jobs.

“The president talked about what the federal government can do right now … and I want to talk about what the government has already done,” she said.

The recycling facility, one of three in San Francisco, handles 700 tons of mixed recycling materials each day, Recology spokesman Robert Reed said.

Reed said more than 300 cities and universities around the country have replicated the company’s compost collection program.

San Francisco made composting mandatory in 2009, and diverts 77 percent of its discarded materials from landfills, the highest rate in the nation, he said.

Jackson said Recology was an example of a business that “can make a profit and help the environment at the same time.”

Green jobs have been in the news recently with Fremont solar manufacturer Solyndra declaring bankruptcy on Aug. 31 and Obama ordering the EPA on Sept. 2 to halt a new regulation that would restrict the production of ozone.

Jackson addressed the Solyndra bankruptcy during the tour, saying “there’s certainly some investigations going on” into what caused the financial collapse of the company.

Obama had visited Solyndra last year after it was announced that the federal government would grant the company a $535 million loan guarantee using stimulus dollars.

As for the reversal on the smog standards, Jackson said, “The president made a tough call, and I respect it,” and said the EPA would reconsider the regulation in the future.

As part of a two-day tour in San Francisco, Jackson also planned to visit Project Open Hand, a nonprofit that works with HIV/AIDS patients, seniors and the homebound critically ill and has extensive solar panels installed on the roof of its Polk Street headquarters.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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