Seattle to fine residents, businesses for wasting too much food

Dumpsters in Seattle (Reuters/Marcus Donner)Seattle wants its residents to compost food scraps so much the city will begin fining homes, apartment buildings and businesses that throw away too much food mixed with their garbage, according to new rules passed by the city council.

Starting in January, trash collectors “can take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck,” the Seattle Times reported. From the start of the year until the end of June, residents whose trash consists of at least 10 percent food waste or certain paper products will receive a warning from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), the Associated Press said.

On July 1, the fines will begin.

Single-family homes will face a $1 fine on their next garbage bill if they don’t comply with the new rules. Trash collectors will enter the violation into a computer system their trucks already carry, and will leave a ticket explaining the details of the fine on the garbage bin.

Apartment buildings and businesses must also comply with the 10-percent-or-less threshold, but commercial properties will receive two warnings before they are hit with a $50 fine on their next bill. Inspectors will check dumpsters on a random basis, the Times reported.

Read more: