New Seattle Garbage Laws

As a leader in environmental policies, the City of Seattle will be enforcing new garbage laws in the new year.  Starting January 1, the city will require residents to separate compostable paper and food out of their garbage.  Waste collectors will be monitoring trash and residents could be fined for not complying.

Seattle is now hoping to keep 38,000 tons of food scraps and 60% of all waste out of landfills each year.  Most garbage has been identified as compostable paper, including pizza boxes, paper napkins, and paper towels.  In 2005, the city began food waste collection every other week for residents. 

The new enforcement of the garbage laws means that a $1 fine per violation could be charged on the utility bill.  For apartment and commercial building owners, the fine would be $50.  With the new law, the city will also offer education for families.  Fines will begin in July. 

Other cities that also have food waste laws include Vancouver, BC; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and New York, NY.