Yet another reason

To not live withing the confines of the City of Seattle.

As if there weren’t enough reasons already

Seattle to fine residents for not composting

Seattle residents who fail to separate food waste from trash will be fined.

The City Council voted Monday to impose the fines for not composting.

When the ordinance goes into effect next year, homeowners found with food scraps in their trash will be fined $1 for each violation KING reported Tuesday. The fine is up to $50 for a business or apartment complex.

Seattle Public Utilities estimates that about a third to one-half of what now goes in the trash should be recycled or put in compost bins.


Under the new rules, collectors will take a look when they dump trash into a garbage truck. If they see more than 10 percent of the trash should be composted, they’ll enter the violation into a computer and leave a ticket on the bin that says expect a $1 fine on the next garbage bill.

Collectors will begin tagging garbage bins with warnings Jan. 1. Fines start until July 1.

Seattle Public Utilities asked the council to consider the ordinance because the agency is falling short of its recycling and composting goals. The council vote was 9-to-0. No public hearing was required.

I am so glad I got out of the trash collection business. I worry that Scott is still there.

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7 Responses to Yet another reason

  1. dustydog says:

    Evidence gets destroyed before the customer gets the fine- what are the chances this revenue stream will be abused? What are the chances that trash collectors will get incentive bonuses for finding violators?

    They’ll have people saving photos of their trash, and trash photos going to court, and city lawyers fighting to protect juries from the dangerous, misleading trash photos.

  2. formerly dfwmtx says:

    I think saving the food scraps and other compostables from the garbage can is a good idea. We need something to throw at bureaucrats who put their noses where they shouldn’t belong, and tarring and feathering them is considered illegal.

    Of course, what’d be best is if people were employed to separate the trash. I think it’d be an excellent job for prisoners from the local jails, or folks who are on welfare and repeatedly claim to have trouble finding work.

  3. Merle says:

    Guess I missed it – just where are food scraps supposed to go?


  4. Scott says:

    Hasn’t been implemented yet but I guarantee (as someone in the business) that collectors will get bonuses for and/or penalties for not making a naughty list. All drivers carry camera phones. It will be a mess literally and figuratively.

  5. Joe Mama says:

    Merle – In a separate bag that, when full, is tossed in front of the nearest gov’t agency’s door.

  6. dustydog says:

    Philadelphia had a program for a long time (my childhood), where New Jersey pigs were fed with scraps. Leftover foods, peels, rinds that pigs could eat went into a separate trash can, got collected, and went to the farms. People were careful (because animals). Somebody checked the scraps, and occasionally picked stuff out.

    The program was cancelled in the 00s because FDA decided it would be too easy for somebody to poison the pigs, or theoretically find some poison that wouldn’t hurt the pigs, but would poison people when they ate the meat.

  7. Heartless Libertarian says:

    Did anybody else read the bit about “the agency is falling short of its recycling and composting goals” and come to the conclusion that SPU isn’t making as much money off recyclables and compost as they expected, so they’re going to force people to sort their trash better?

    (I like the suggestion to dump your food waste on the front steps of SPU. After letting it sit and rot for a suitable period, first.)

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