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Are There Any Penalties for Taking out the Trash Incorrectly?

Some North American cities have cracked down on residents who don’t recycle. San Francisco got the ball rolling in 2009 with an ordinance that fined all building owners who didn’t opt in to recycling services. Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and San Diego followed with similar laws. In 2015, Seattle took another step towards mandated recycling by enacting a law that makes it illegal to put food waste into curbside garbage cans, instead of sorting it into a compost bin or composting it yourself.

Oh, look. They didn't recycle:

  • A household with more than 10 percent food waste in its trash can gets a bright red tag slapped on the bin, for all to see. Fines are $1 USD per violation, but larger buildings can be fined $50 USD.

  • In 2015, Seattle Public Utilities estimated that the average Seattle family throws away about 400 pounds (181 kg) of food every year. The city wants to increase recycling participation to 60 percent of all waste.

  • The city provides households with bins so that food and yard waste can be picked up and composted, for a fee. Or residents can use the bins to create their own composting operation.

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More Info: NPR

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