The San Francisco Board of Supervisors yesterday enacted the toughest law in the nation with regard to mandatory recycling and composting, and within two years business owners and landlords could have pay fines of up to $500 for failing to follow guidelines.

There is a moratorium on fines until 2011, giving everyone a chance to catch up and learn how to use the blue and green bins. It's estimated that 36% of what the city sends to landfills is compostable and another 30% is recyclable, and currently only about 22% of the city's large apartment buildings have composting bins. If the concept of composting remains confusing to you, and since it is liable to freeze the uninitiated in their tracks, the Chron offers this helpful tip: "Start with easy things -- orange peels, coffee grounds, eggshells -- to get the hang of it."

Thanks Chron! We suppose only black diamond-level composters should feel ready to toss entire heads of lettuce or grape stems in there! Baby steps, people.