The Sculpture Garden at Recology San Francisco is to our knowledge the only existing park of its kind at a garbage company. This private, three-acre facility contains more than thirty-five sculptures made by former artists-in-residence, with new pieces added each year. All tours of the company include a visit to the garden. Please see the tour information below for details.
In 1992 under the direction and design of Susan Leibovitz Steinman
, Recology San Francisco built the sculpture garden on a hill overlooking San Francisco Bay. The land functions as a buffer between the transfer station and the adjacent residential neighborhood known as Little Hollywood, and was previously a field of ivy and ice plant. In 1994, the garden was dedicated to the memory of Joseph Johnson, former director of the Solid Waste Management Program of the City & County of San Francisco. Joe was also an artist and an important advocate for the formation of the Artist in Residence Program.
The garden path is made from ground concrete salvaged from the Embarcadero Freeway when it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Bricks that line the path came from a building on Mission Street, and many of the plants in the garden were rescued from the garbage and brought back to life using Recology compost.
An experiment in biodiversity, Wild Apples for Jo
is a bed of apple trees grown from seed. The garden installation is dedicated to the memory of Artist in Residence Program founder Jo Hanson and created by Susan Leibovitz Steinman. The installation includes five trees growing in a star shape, mimicking seeds inside an apple. The trees were planted in large oval troughs filled with rose quartz and native grasses, surrounded by five antique French doors rescued from a South San Francisco hotel. Wild Apples for Jo
was inspired by Sweet Survival-Urban Apple Orchard II
at the Sonoma County Museum in 2006-2008. The original Urban Apple Orchard I
was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission in 1994-1995 and sited on Market Street. It was located just a few blocks from Jo's house, and was a favorite destination for her. This is our memorial to Jo Hanson--to her life, her work, and her spirit.
Artist in Residence Program Tours
Program tours occur the third Saturday and fourth Wednesday of each month. All
tours include a visit to the sculpture garden. Third Saturday tours begin at 10 a.m. and are geared toward adults interested in knowing more about the AIR
Program, especially those interested in applying for an artist residency. Fourth Wednesday tours begin at 9:30 a.m. and focus on materials and recycling.
This tour includes a visit to Recycle Central at Pier 96. All tours include an overview of the company and recycling operations in San Francisco.
- You must make a reservation to attend a tour.
- Tours takes approximately two hours and involve stairs, hills, and walking on uneven surfaces. Please let us know ahead of time if an individual who cannot walk up stairs and hills or is in a wheelchair will be attending so we can make alternative arrangements.
- Those attending tours must wear closed-toe, comfortable walking shoes (no sandals).
- For safety reasons, tours are not appropriate for children under nine years of age.
- Tours are not held if it is raining.
To make a reservation, please call (415) 330-1414. If you can't join our tour, or want to get an idea of what a tour is like, watch this video on YouTube