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

Rate this post

Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council passed a new ordinance Monday that could mean $1 fines for people who toss too many table scraps into the trash.
Under current Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) rules, people living in single-family homes are encouraged but not required to dispose of food waste and compostable paper products in compost bins. Apartment buildings must have compost bins available, but residents of apartment buildings aren’t required to use them. And businesses aren’t subject to any composting requirements.
Under the new rules, collectors can take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck. If they see compostable items make up 10 percent or more of the trash, they’ll enter the violation into a computer system their trucks already carry, and will leave a ticket on the garbage bin that says to expect a $1 fine on the next garbage bill.
Apartment buildings and businesses will be subject to the same 10 percent threshold but will get two warnings before they are fined. A third violation will result in a $50 fine. Dumpsters there will be checked by inspectors on a random basis.
Collectors will begin tagging garbage bins and dumpsters with educational tickets starting Jan. 1 when they find violations. But fines won’t start until July 1. SPU doesn’t expect to collect many fines, says Tim Croll, the agency’s solid-waste director.
The city outlawed recyclable items from the trash nine years ago, but SPU has collected less than $2,000 in fines since then, Croll says. “The point isn’t to raise revenue,” he said. “We care more about reminding people to separate their materials.”
SPU asked the council to consider the new ordinance because the agency is falling short of its recycling and composting goals. Seattle’s recycling rate for 2013 was 56 percent, a slight improvement over 2012 but not on pace to meet SPU’s goal of 60 percent for 2015.



“Our growth rate for recycling has stalled,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who sponsored the legislation. “It’s surprising, but we still send 300,000 tons of garbage every year to a landfill in eastern Oregon. I think we can do a lot better than that,” Bagshaw said.
SPU estimates the new law will generate 38,000 tons in additional compost annually.
Collectors already check garbage bins at single-family homes for recyclable items. When they find too many glass or plastic items, they leave the bins with a tag asking the resident to remove the items.
The council vote to pass the new composting measure was a unanimous 9-to-0. No public hearing was required.
Just how do they plan to enforce this? Are they going to tear open all of the trash bags to see if there is too much food in them? How will the collectors accurately calculate the 10%?  What will stop people from putting the compostables at the bottom of the bin and covering them up with non-compostables?
If someone challenges the fine, how does the city prove its case?  Will garbage collectors be taking photos and writing up reports about violators?   If so, at what cost?
Sounds like garbage collectors are about to get a lot busier.

Please follow and like us:

0 responses to “Seattle OKs $1 fine for adding too much food to garbage bins

  1. Sounds like garbage collectors are about to get a lot busier…. it makes one wonder… are they REALLY going to take the time to look??? especially when very cold or very hot day? …bet they are not getting paid any more to do this silliness! Like the pic DCG! almost like a mother may I?

    • I’m with you on this;if they do what it takes to enforce these stupid laws they’ll either have to increase the sanitation workers’ wages substantially or give them a cut of the funds they collect from the fines. I’ll be expecting to see their garbage collectors become the highest paid people in Seattle. BTW-they should be fining people by the oz.. I’ll bet these workers are already irked by the knowledge that even the local burger flippers will earn more than they’ve been earning most of their lives,thanks to the new super-sized minimum wage.

  2. With all that free pot around,I figured people would be gobbling up all their food and then some. Then the nanny’s would be putting scales on the sidewalks to see if you are too fat. Boy the fines would really multiply then huh?

  3. More statist lunacy.

  4. The Left often complain that cultural/religious conservatives constrain personal freedom because they want to “legislate morality” by policing what we do in our bedrooms. But policing our garbage cans is OK. Somebody help me here because the logic of “not OK to police bedroom; OK to police garbage cans” escapes me.
    Just goes to show that for the Left, the environment (“Gaia”) is their god.

  5. For the life of me, I have to wonder, with what is going on, do we have something toxic in the water systems, the food we eat, or the air we breathe, because there is a whole lot of stupid going on.
    I used to blame the depraved behavior of a few hundred years ago on the lead in the dishes and pots, and I think we have something similar going on. What else could it be.

    • I think a lot of it has to do with the increasing dependency on the Government to provide everything it takes to live a carefree,do nothing productive life,a whole new “Gimme,gimme,gimme” Generation. And YES-I lay THAT at the feet of the last 20+ years of Democratic fouling of the Political waters in America.

  6. Sounds like garbage collectors are going to get a great deal busier… . it makes one marvel… would they say they are REALLY going to take the time to look??? particularly when exceptionally frosty or extremely hot day? … wager they are not getting paid any more to do this silliness!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.