The latest recyclable: Asphalt

San Francisco currently recycles 15 percent of the asphalt that gets churned up when streets get repaved, but the city has a new machine that will help boost the total to 35 percent.

San Francisco currently recycles 15 percent of the asphalt that gets churned up when streets get repaved, but the city has a new machine that will help boost the total to 35 percent, according to Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The city has bought a mobile recycling unit that goes to sites where streets are being ripped up and recycles it, he said while chatting with reporters at a press event for Tesla Motors.

There has been concern about the quality of the recycled asphalt, he said, but it seems to work now. The city unveiled the machine yesterday at a press conference.

On other green notes, the city will look into free or subsidized parking and other perks for electric car owners, he said. Newsom used to own a General Motors EV-1, the all-electric car that GM briefly marketed.

"It was the greatest thing in the world," he said. He did, however, run out of power twice. Once the meter said he had three miles to go, but it conked after one mile. "It was my fault, not the car's," he added.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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