New garbage, recycling rules in Seattle



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 12:35 PM

Video: New trash, recycling rules in Seattle

SEATTLE - Starting Monday, roughly 150,000 households in Seattle have new garbage and recycling rules. And about 60 percent of them will find their pick-up day has changed.

As much as a third of material that goes into a landfill is food waste and compostable paper. The goal is to get a lot of that out of a landfill.

Seattle recycling bins can take almost all of it now - paper, aluminum, cardboard and glass can all go in there together. And that yard waste bin now takes food waste too.

To prevent unpleasant side effects, yard waste pickups are increasing from once every two weeks to every week. So fill up that yard waste bin with everything from bones to food soiled paper.

"The main thing not to put in there is anything those little bacteria don't want to eat, like plastic - plastic food containers, plastic forks and spoons," said Rita Smith, Waste Management. " Those will be the important things to still go in the garbage."

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The goal is less garbage going to a landfill instead of stewing in a garbage dump. Your old food can become something functional again.

"We have a market right here locally, Cedar Grove, where the material can be composted and then we can use that compost on local parks and golf courses and people can buy it in hardware stores and garden stores," said Smith.

Speaking of garden, you can now recycle plastic garden pots, which is new. Some nurseries will take your old pots to reuse them, which is the highest form of recycling. But short of that, they can now go into your recycling bin.

Fees will increase by more than four dollars a month, but most customesrs can offset that by recycling more and ordering smaller, less expensive cans for trash.