Seattle Will Start Charging $1 Compost Fee For Too Much Food Waste In The Trash

No throwing this out in Seattle. (szczel)

No throwing this out in Seattle. (szczel)

The residents of Seattle will soon be busy staring intently into their trash cans. Or at least that’s what I’d be doing if I lived there, because the Seattle City Council just okayed a new rule that amounts to $1 fines for anyone chucking away too much food waste or compostable paper products.

Before the new rule, it wasn’t required for those in single-family homes to chuck food waste into compost bins, and apartment buildings had to have them available, but no one was required to use them, reports the Seattle Times.

But under the new Seattle Public Utilities rules, collectors will peek inside the trash before they dump it into garbage trucks, and if that haul has 10% or more food waste, they can write up a violation in the truck’s computer system to leave a ticket on a garbage can for a $1 fine on the next trash bill.

Apartments and businesses get two warnings before they too, will be fined for anything above that 10% limit.

You’ve got some time to adjust though, Seattleans. Seattleites. It’s too early — we get it, you live in Seattle: The fines won’t start until July 1, with warning tickets educating people about the new rule starting Jan. 1.

But it’s not like anyone is worried about a landslide of fines, as SPU isn’t expecting much money to come in from this.

“The point isn’t to raise revenue,” Tim Croll, the agency’s solid-waste director told the Seattle Times.
“We care more about reminding people to separate their materials.”

Seattle OKs $1 fine for adding too much food to garbage bins [Seattle Times]