The city of San Francisco has chalked up a 70 percent recycling rate - the highest in the US diversion of waste, which includes recycling, composting, and re-use, has increased from 35 percent in 1996, to 70 percent today, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced last week. Diversion accounts for 1,415,159 tons of waste, or 70 percent of the total waste stream. 'San Francisco is making it easier than ever to participate in recycling collection programs, and our new 70 percent diversion rate is proof of our commitment a zero-waste future,' said Mayor Newsom.