The first city to be fined for throwing food away

The first city to be fined for throwing food away

By Jaled Abdelrahim

The municipality of this city did not think its good mark to recycle 56% of its waste (407,000 tons per year) was enough. With this new measure, they plan to increase the percentage to 65%, which means up to 38,000 tons less to the count of kilos that are thrown into the neighboring Oregon landfill.

The ordinance, applicable to both businesses and individuals, although it has been in force since January, only implies a warning policy for the time being: buckets that are caught with organic waste are marked with a red sticker. It will be from July when the inhabitants of Seattle will face fines of between one (for individuals) and 50 dollars (for establishments and neighboring buildings) for throwing out groceries.

The question is: do you really have to eat it all to avoid being punished? The Council has also thought about that. The other branch of the measure is to provide the citizens with free buckets where to throw the leftover dishes, napkins, leaves from the garden and even cardboard. With all these elements, the residents of Seattle can choose to deliver them to the recycling truck, or use them to create their own compost. The one that takes the truck will be the fertilizer that will maintain the parks and public gardens.

Seattle is a leading city in recycling. Most of our neighbors and businesses already carry out their own composting and this requirement represents a progression in our collective effort so that the city is increasingly green ", Tim Croll, director of solid waste of the Department of Public Services of the city. With the plan, they estimate that the goal of 65% recycled garbage will be reached before the end of 2015.

In 2012, the last documented year in the United States on this matter, Americans generated about 35 million tons of organic waste that was not used at all. In total, these wastes account for a fifth of the waste generated by the country. Seattle, with the formulary of fines in hand, has taken this black statistic very seriously.

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