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Author Topic: Fining garbage in Seattle
Rafi
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quote:
Reuters) - Seattle residents who throw too many pizza crusts, coffee grounds and uneaten leftovers in their regular garbage will now face a fine, in one of the toughest mandatory composting efforts in the country, officials said on Tuesday.

The Seattle City Council voted on Monday to impose a $1 fine on residents each time they fill more than 10 percent of their home garbage with compostable waste, such as food scraps and paper products. Repeat offenders could see the fine increase to $50.

Businesses and apartments will start their fines at $50. I wonder how a restaurant is going to deal with this? The only thing they can really do is build the fines into their pricing - that is, raise prices on Seattle diners. Either that or the added cost of managing their trash to be in compliance will be added in.

10%. Is that by weight? Volume? How's that gonna work? At least we know who's enforcing it:

quote:
Mandatory composting in Seattle will be enforced by Seattle trash collectors, who will enter violations into a computerized system. Offenders will then receive a notice on their garbage bin that a fine will be included on their next bill.
The trash collector. I've seen my trash collector, he moves like he's on fire. These guys don't waste enough time to even sit the cans back down. They generally only have time to throw them blindly off the truck in the general direction of your house. Not to mention, they ain't exactly math majors. I'm sure every collector in the city is looking forward to taking a general measurement of the percentage of your trash and entering it into a system then placing a sticker.

I think this will be a fun one to watch.

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PSRT
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It works just fine in parts of the world that aren't insanely stupid lune the us is
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Reuters) - Seattle residents who throw too many pizza crusts, coffee grounds and uneaten leftovers in their regular garbage will now face a fine, in one of the toughest mandatory composting efforts in the country, officials said on Tuesday.

The Seattle City Council voted on Monday to impose a $1 fine on residents each time they fill more than 10 percent of their home garbage with compostable waste, such as food scraps and paper products. Repeat offenders could see the fine increase to $50.

Businesses and apartments will start their fines at $50. I wonder how a restaurant is going to deal with this? The only thing they can really do is build the fines into their pricing - that is, raise prices on Seattle diners. Either that or the added cost of managing their trash to be in compliance will be added in.

10%. Is that by weight? Volume? How's that gonna work? At least we know who's enforcing it:

quote:
Mandatory composting in Seattle will be enforced by Seattle trash collectors, who will enter violations into a computerized system. Offenders will then receive a notice on their garbage bin that a fine will be included on their next bill.
The trash collector. I've seen my trash collector, he moves like he's on fire. These guys don't waste enough time to even sit the cans back down. They generally only have time to throw them blindly off the truck in the general direction of your house. Not to mention, they ain't exactly math majors. I'm sure every collector in the city is looking forward to taking a general measurement of the percentage of your trash and entering it into a system then placing a sticker.

I think this will be a fun one to watch.

Yeah it's a joke. Pretty much going to be a revenue generator for the city since they're driving a lot of other tax revenue away.
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Pete at Home
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" I wonder how a restaurant is going to deal with this? "

Um ... put the stuff in the correct pickup bin rather than normal garbage?

I'm more pissed off that all the mercury light bulbs being pushed on us by the government have this stupid notice, "dispose according to federal and state law" rather than just providing a bloody resource to where you can find out WHERE you can dispose of the mercury rather than infecting the air and water supply through improper disposal.

Any twit can figure out where to put scrap food garbage. Does anyone know of the safe and lawful way to dispose of broken mercury bulbs?

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JoshuaD
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No idea. That bothers me, too.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
" I wonder how a restaurant is going to deal with this? "

Um ... put the stuff in the correct pickup bin rather than normal garbage?

Um....you didn't read the article. [Wink]
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TomDavidson
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Well, technically, he's right. Apparently about 80% of Seattle restaurants have signed up with one of two major composting companies, which provide a bin for food waste and do daily pickups.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Um....you didn't read the article. [Wink]
Why should he? You didn't provide the article. [Razz]
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LetterRip
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For those who want to read the article,

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/23/us-usa-washington-recycle-idUSKCN0HI2EF20140923

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OpsanusTau
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I used to live in Seattle. Based on what I experienced of their trash collection system, I bet this will not really be onerous or an issue.

There is already single stream recycling and the garbage collection folks already monitor for violations. Compostable waste is probably easier, it smells.

I'm sure putting a system like this into place wouldn't work in most cities because it is too different from what already exists. But I know someone from the northeast who moved to Seattle and couldn't believe the size of the trash cans for pickup - for reference, I lived in a four-adult household and our trash can was knee high (maybe fifteen gallons?) and was rarely full at weekly pickup. There is just a major civic culture of recycling and composting. And it is EASY- I have lived in a lot of places, and I can't think of a place with a more user-friendly waste collection system. Also, most local news stories I saw say that the city dtoesn't expect to collect the fine often; the intent is educational.

More succinctly, Seattle: if you don't like it, don't move there. I am sure they are happier not to have you there. They're doing fine.

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Mynnion
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They really should a "LIKE" function.....


LIKE!

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
I used to live in Seattle. Based on what I experienced of their trash collection system, I bet this will not really be onerous or an issue.

There is already single stream recycling and the garbage collection folks already monitor for violations. Compostable waste is probably easier, it smells.

I'm sure putting a system like this into place wouldn't work in most cities because it is too different from what already exists. But I know someone from the northeast who moved to Seattle and couldn't believe the size of the trash cans for pickup - for reference, I lived in a four-adult household and our trash can was knee high (maybe fifteen gallons?) and was rarely full at weekly pickup. There is just a major civic culture of recycling and composting. And it is EASY- I have lived in a lot of places, and I can't think of a place with a more user-friendly waste collection system. Also, most local news stories I saw say that the city dtoesn't expect to collect the fine often; the intent is educational.

More succinctly, Seattle: if you don't like it, don't move there. I am sure they are happier not to have you there. They're doing fine.

In fact this is not true. The city has problems providing basic services be it water, electricity, securing competent trash collection contractors, etc. The city's plunging tax revenues in recent years have likely helped spark a number of scandals and also negligence situations where city utilities and city contracted services grossly over bill or wrongly bill customers. It has become so common that it's fairly clear it's simply a revenue generating theme across the bureaucratic culture there. It's one of the reasons why after I retired I refused to live there.
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Gaoics79
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All food goes into my trash now. I just completely boycott the green bin system here. The green bins are just raccoon food dispensers. I was sick of my green bin being turned over and dumped in front of my house. It's like the City designed the bins to be easily accessible to raccoons.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
I used to live in Seattle. Based on what I experienced of their trash collection system, I bet this will not really be onerous or an issue.

There is already single stream recycling and the garbage collection folks already monitor for violations. Compostable waste is probably easier, it smells.

I'm sure putting a system like this into place wouldn't work in most cities because it is too different from what already exists. But I know someone from the northeast who moved to Seattle and couldn't believe the size of the trash cans for pickup - for reference, I lived in a four-adult household and our trash can was knee high (maybe fifteen gallons?) and was rarely full at weekly pickup. There is just a major civic culture of recycling and composting. And it is EASY- I have lived in a lot of places, and I can't think of a place with a more user-friendly waste collection system. Also, most local news stories I saw say that the city dtoesn't expect to collect the fine often; the intent is educational.

More succinctly, Seattle: if you don't like it, don't move there. I am sure they are happier not to have you there. They're doing fine.

In fact this is not true. The city has problems providing basic services be it water, electricity, securing competent trash collection contractors, etc. The city's plunging tax revenues in recent years have likely helped spark a number of scandals and also negligence situations where city utilities and city contracted services grossly over bill or wrongly bill customers. It has become so common that it's fairly clear it's simply a revenue generating theme across the bureaucratic culture there. It's one of the reasons why after I retired I refused to live there.
So Ops lived there, and you refused to live there.

Why should we give your opinion more weight?

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Seneca
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If it's biographical appeal to authority it's because while I was working I lived there and I still happen to live near there.

But if we're going to drop the logical fallacies a cursory websearch will yield the myriad instances of city residents being defrauded by public utilities and the incredible waste, mismanagement and corruption that plague them.

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scifibum
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OK, so you lived there too. I see.

I don't know how to fairly gauge a city government or the success of a program by reading complaints about them. I can find complaints about any program or private enterprise.

Is there a better way to assess whether Seattle is good at garbage collection, or whether they intend this new policy to be a revenue stream rather than to further (a certain view of) public interests?

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OpsanusTau
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Well, all I really can say is that I never had problems with utilities or other municipal services when I lived in Seattle, nor do I know anyone who did. Nor was I ever aware of the kind of background noise of grumbling on the topic that is implied, and I tend to keep up on local politics wherever I happen to be pretty well. But shoot, I could have missed it.

Honestly I would move back to the Seattle area if I wanted to live in a big city and if I could handle what the weather does to my SAD. But I don't and can't respectively. However, I do always think it is funny in a particular way how much people in non-Puget Sound parts of WA get their knickers in a twist about what Seattle does with itself.

Great, you don't like the local government and culture so you moved away. That is how I feel about New England, where I don't live, and LA, where I also don't live. That doesn't mean that it is necessarily objectively bad. (Though it could be! In two years if marginal households are being financially stressed by improper composting fines, I will join you in feeling annoyed.)

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MattP
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quote:
Any twit can figure out where to put scrap food garbage. Does anyone know of the safe and lawful way to dispose of broken mercury bulbs?
Every Lowes and Home Depot has a recycling bin for them. I assume other major retailers do as well.
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