San Francisco this year is becoming the first major U.S. city to offer curbside recycling for food waste, one sign of a growing nationwide trend toward composting. Communities across the U.S. are finding it difficult to meet the recycling goals they set in the early 1990s, and some are now pushing composting as a way to cut back on waste sent to landfills. Michele Raymond studied 18 communities that had managed to meet 65 percent recycling rates and found that most of them credited composting for their success. In Monmouth County, N.J., the government has subsidized the sale of 5,000 backyard composters in the past five years.