New Seattle law: No food in trash

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Seattle will ban food and food waste in garbage. How well do you know Seattle's rules for composting and recycling? Can you compost take-out containers? What about greasy waxed paper? Take our short quiz and find out.  Photo: Dwight Eschliman, Getty Images / (c) Dwight EschlimanSeattle PI – by Vanessa Ho

Starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to throw food and food waste in the trash in Seattle, when a new ban takes effect to increase recycling and composting in the city.

Currently, Seattle residents are allowed to throw food and food waste – pizza boxes, dirty napkins, soiled paper towels – in the garbage. Residents are required to have a food and yard waste collection service, but they don’t have to use it for food. (Backyard composters are exempt from that requirement.)  

Similarly, multi-family building owners are required to provide a compost collection service for residents, but residents don’t have to use it.

But on Jan. 1, Seattle will ban food and food waste in trash.

Enforcement won’t start until July 1. At that time, any single-family trash container with more than 10 percent recyclables or food waste by volume will face a $1 fine on the next garbage bill.

Multi-family property owners with too much food waste in trash will get up to two warning notices, and then a $50 fine.

That system of warnings and $50 fines will also apply to businesses. Currently only businesses that serve food are required to sort food scraps and waste for composting. The new law will require all types of businesses to do that.

Public trash cans will be exempt from the new ordinance. Garbage containers in customer dining areas will also be exempt, if a business provides food-waste composting containers.

Why the new law?

Seattle is falling short of its goal to recycle and compost 60 percent of its waste by 2015. The years-long bump in recycling has dropped, and only 56 percent of waste was diverted in 2013. Seattle sends about 100,000 tons of food waste to a landfill per year.

Seattle Public Utilities projects that the new law will divert 38,000 tons of food scraps from landfills and into composting.

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http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/New-Seattle-law-No-more-food-in-trash-5983805.php

5 thoughts on “New Seattle law: No food in trash

  1. “Starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to throw food and food waste in the trash in Seattle, when a new ban takes effect to increase recycling and composting in the city.”

    😯 WTF???? I don’t know whether to laugh or be angry.

    illegal to throw away food? That’s like saying it’s illegal to run tap water down your drain. WTF? What the hell is trash for?

    The people should all take their food trash and dump it at city hall with the names of the politicians who created this bullshit labeled on the bags.

  2. Laws become more oppressive and ludicrous by the day.

    “Public trash cans will be exempt from the new ordinance.”

    People there will be littering with food waste all over the place. Those who don’t litter will be throwing their food waste in the public garbage cans.

  3. Here in CA there is an attempt to get rid of ALL plastic bags. We already have a ban on plastic grocery bags.

    I wonder what I will be doing with my used cat litter if there are no plastic cat litter bags?
    . . .

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