The days of being able to toss your half-eaten pizza and salad

The days of being able to toss your half-eaten pizza and salad scraps into the garbage could soon be coming to an end. The Seattle City Council today is expected to sign off on Council member Sally Baghaw’s new rule that will make curbside composting of food wastes mandatory. In other words, no more mixing in the banana peels and moldy cheese with the regular refuse.

Bagshaw takes her garbage seriously. The chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee, which passed the measure 3-0 on Sept. 9, told KUOW, “Seattle still sends more than 300,000 tons of garbage to the landfill every year. I mean, just think about that number: 300,000 tons. And we have found that in the business, in the multifamily, in the single family, all about the same, about 35 percent – that’s over a third – is compostable.”

So here’s how the new plan works: Beginning in January, your garbage man, as was the case with recycling, will sift around in the trash bins of single family households, looking for table scraps. For the first six months, written notices will be handed out to those whose bin is laden with 10 percent or more of food waste. After that, incorrigible anti-compostables will be hit with a $1 fine on their bi-monthly garbage bill. Bagshaw admits the amount is no big deal, but says it’s all part of an educational campaign and not a punitive measure.

Owners of multifamily buildings will face a fine of $50 dollars after the third violation.