Breathe easy, Seattle. The proposed fines for not following Seattle’s new food composting rule have been delayed.
The fines were originally scheduled to start July 1. But on Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray said he would suspend those fines for the rest of the year. The earliest they could go into effect -- and that's a big if -- is January 2016.
The rule was simple: Don’t put compost in the trash. And if trash was made up of more than 10 percent compost, the fine proposed was a whopping $1 for a single-family home. For businesses and apartment buildings, the proposed fine would have been $50.
In the same announcement, Murray said the city is ahead of schedule in its effort to keep food waste out of the trash.
“We are on track this year to recycle about 19,000 additional tons of organic material that would go into a landfill,” Murray said. “That's equivalent to 380 rail cars of food waste. That's three whole trains.”
The mayor says Seattle has a good chance of meeting its goal of recycling or composting 60 percent of its waste by the end of 2015.
And instead of issuing fines, the city will focus on educating the public about compost instead. A survey in March found that 71 percent of Seattleites are aware of the composting law.