Often touted as one of our greenest cities, Seattle is attempting to make another huge stride toward a more environmentally friendly place to live. Businesses and private households will now be fined if they don’t comply with a new rule to throw food waste into compost bins rather than the trash.
CBS News reports about the law that the city’s Mayor Ed Murray just signed forcing residents to compost their food scraps or else face a small fine. Single family homes that fail to use that fail to use their compost bins will be fined $1 and businesses will see a $50 fine for throwing their food scraps in the trash.
It may seem like a meager fine that can be easily ignored by families that don’t want to be bothered with composting, but Hans Van Dusen who oversees garbage collection in Seattle explains the intent of the small fine. He says, “We're not looking to make a lot of money or any revenue off it. It's just to make the rules clear so everybody can help us save resources.”
If Seattle can get residents and business owners on board with composting they truly will see a greener city. Food scraps that are not composted and end up in landfills will eventually turn into methane, a damaging greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
Though Van Dusen explains that many people are on board with the plan there are others that feel it will turn the sanitation department into trash cops and will be a waste of resources and money. Conservative think tank head, Todd Myers, doesn’t believe the composting program is a step in the right direction for Seattle. He says, “The cost far outweighs the environmental benefits. When you have to enforce more and more and more, it shows that people don't want to do it, and it's not the best solution.”
What do you think of Seattle plan to get more people composting food scraps?
Do you think more cities should consider implementing a composting plan to go alongside existing recycling programs?