In 2013, the Seattle City Council unanimously decreed that residents are prohibited from disposing food waste and compostable paper products in garbage bins and dumpsters. Homes, apartment buildings and businesses that throw away too much food mixed with their garbage would be penalized. On January 1, the City of Seattle’s trash ordinance went into effect.
The city government is enforcing the rule with a gross (pun intended) invasion of privacy.
Trash collectors have been instructed to “take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck.” Residents and businesses whose trash includes more than 10 percent of food waste or certain paper products have been receiving warnings. However, after January 1, 2016, those warnings will turn into fines courtesy of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).
Private residents whose trash contains more than 10% compostable items will receive a $1 fine on their next garbage bill. Apartment buildings and businesses—their dumpsters will be inspected on a random basis—have two warnings before they receive a fine. A third violation would result in a $50 fine.
Well, not all Seattle residents are accepting the city’s plan to invade their privacy. Privacy advocates have filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle over the new composting law. MyNorthwest.com,
“A Libertarian public interest group, the Pacific Legal Foundation, filed the lawsuit Thursday.
“They found their eight plaintiffs by asking for volunteers. Seattleite Greg Moon was happy to join the cause.
“‘The idea of a systematic program for the government to go through our trash is kind of offensive to me. It’s downright un-American,’ Moon said.”
City officials have yet to comment on the lawsuit.