Composting is great, but should it be mandatory? The Seattle City Council thinks so. Last week all nine councilmembers decided that those who fail to put their banana peels in the right bin will pay a fine.
The penalty is $1 for individual households, whereas apartments and commercial buildings will receive two warnings and then a $50 fine.
The Seattle Times explains how dissident trashers will be caught:
Under the new rules, collectors can take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck.
If they see compostable items make up 10 percent or more of the trash, they'll enter the violation into a computer system their trucks already carry, and will leave a ticket on the garbage bin that says to expect a $1 fine on the next garbage bill.
Apartment buildings and businesses will be subject to the same 10 percent threshold. … Dumpsters there will be checked by inspectors on a random basis.
Collectors will begin tagging garbage bins and Dumpsters with educational tickets starting Jan. 1 when they find violations. But fines won't start until July 1.
Seattle Public Utility (SPU Director Tim Croll tells the Times:
SPU hasn't decided whether it's going to have an appeals process. The new law doesn't set out any such process. SPU wants to see how people behave before it decides.
SPU will spend about $400,000 on education, outreach and marketing for the law. But the agency doesn't expect any additional enforcement costs.
"So, why is Seattle making residents compost?" asks CNN. "The city was not going to meet its self-imposed goal of recycling 60 percent of all waste."