Seattle has become the first city in the nation to require residents to separate tossed food from other garbage. The law took effect on January 1st, and is part of an effort to reduce food waste in landfills. The city hopes that the move will also encourage more recycling and composting. Non-compliant households will receive a red tag on their garbage can; fines will be assessed beginning in July.

Some are accusing the city of “shaming” residents with the red tags – which are clearly visible on street-side garbage cans, but other cities from across the nation are watching to see what the program’s takeaways might be.

Rodney Watkins works for a waste contractor, and is among those tasked with enforcement. He said this:

“You can see all the oranges and coffee grounds,” he says, raising one lid. “All that makes great compost. You can put that in your compost bin and buy it back next year in a bag and put it in your garden.”


You can read the full article at NPR’s The Salt.