Praise Anti-Food Waste Law

Staten Island Landfill

Target: Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess

Goal: Applaud an anti-food waste law that will fine people and businesses for having too much food in their trash

A new law just went into effect in Seattle, Washington that will prohibit residents from having more than 10 percent food waste and recyclables in their trash cans. The law is part of an effort to recycle and compost 60 percent of the city’s total waste. Despite information campaigns and rewards for people who recycle and compost, Seattle residents and businesses still add around 100,000 tons of just food waste to landfills each year.

Single-family trash containers that are found to have more than 10 percent of food waste and recyclables will be fined $1 on their trash bill for each infraction. It’s not much of a fine, but it will still give people a motivation to watch what they’re throwing away. The fines for businesses and multi-family properties will be much steeper, with $50 fines given after two warnings. The law also requires all businesses to sort food scraps and waste into composting instead of just the ones that serve food.

Food waste is a serious problem in the U.S., which is a terrible thing considering the fact that so many people in the country go hungry every day. We need to push forward in our efforts to reduce waste and stop stuffing our landfills full of trash, especially when much of it doesn’t need to be there at all. By signing this petition, you’ll announce your approval to the city of Seattle for taking important steps in promoting composting.


Dear Mr. Burgess,

I’m writing to thank you for your involvement in the new Seattle law that bans excessive food waste and issues fines to those who are caught with more than 10 percent of food waste and recyclable materials in their trash cans. I understand that the city of Seattle has been pushing to get its composting and recycling up to 60 percent of all waste management in order to reduce the amount that has to be shipped off to the already massive landfills.

Every step we can take as a community to reduce the amount of waste we produce is important in a world where overpopulation and pollution has been a serious concern for many years. It can be difficult to get the general population to understand how important these goals are when most people have no concept of how dangerous our rate of trash production is and little motivation to reduce the amount of trash they create on a daily basis. The threat of fines will go a long way toward forcing people to pay attention and do their part.

Thank you again for pushing for this new anti-waste law. With enough efforts like these, we can hope for a future in which landfills are a thing of the past and all materials can be composted or recycled. If more people follow your example, we can look forward to living on a planet that doesn’t have large portions covered in trash that harms the environment and nearby people and animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gary Miller via Wikimedia Commons

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