Recycling signs and three collection bins have been placed on each deck of the ferries, which are operated by the /*Golden Gate Bridge*/ Highway and Transportation District. The sanitary service has been collecting the recyclable items twice a week.
Todd Start, recycling coordinator for the sanitary service, said the program is unique because it's a privately owned business making a deal with a public entity. The agencies split the $2,500 tab for the bins.
However, the containers and signs are not enough to get commuters to dispose of their waste properly.
Start said deckhands are the real heroes in the program because they are the ones who sort the trash and deliver the recyclables to the appropriate pick-up spots.
"The program would not work that well, and at best it would work poorly without them. Kudos to the deckhands," Start said.
He said newspapers have made up about 70 percent of the more than 1,600 pounds of waste the sanitary service has collected so far, and the rest consists of bottles and cans.
Other than the bins, the program won't cost anything because the sanitary service simply incorporated the district pickups into existing routes, he said.
Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District officials said Golden Gate Ferry has been recycling informally for decades.