Man vs. Trash
  • R.B.
  • Trash talk
Last week we gave you the rundown on the city weighing a proposal to reduce trash pick-ups to every other week. A few people from Renton and Olympia responded that they already have that system and it works just fine. While you wrap your heads around that, there's more. The city is also thinking of requiring landlords and condo associations to sign up for a weekly food and yard-waste collection service for their tenants. Seattle's Solid Waste Director Tim Croll presented the proposal right before the bi-weekly trash talk at the City Council's Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee meeting Tuesday.

Most single-family homes in Seattle already subscribed to the service last year, but about half of Seattle's residents live in apartments and condos, Croll said, which resulted in 19,000 tons of food waste and compostable paper being dumped into the garbage cans. The expansion would extend this compost program into a mandatory program for apartments and condos.

The changes would entail rate hikes for garbage (the legislation would not require residents to separate food from garbage). Cost would be determined by a few factors: size of the dumpster, whether residents would choose to wheel the cart out to the curb or order curbside service, and the number of units per buildings. If the full council votes on the proposal by November, the city may begin the program by next September. Cost to the city? $250,000.

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The city has already been doing a pilot program on about 40 different properties throughout the city, which has received positive feedback, said city council Member Mike O'Brien, who supports the idea. However, the Seattle Rental Housing Association objected to any requirements to participate in the program at the meeting, arguing that it would create problems for properties without on-site management.

Small apartments that have no room for an organics pick-up wouldn't be required to do anything.