Council President Richard Conlin
COUNCIL PASSES ZERO WASTE MILESTONE
New contracts turn waste into resources
SEATTLE – The Council, today, passed another milestone in the Zero Waste Strategy when it approved new solid-waste contracts, which include expanded recycling and compost services for Seattle Public Utility customers. Council President Richard Conlin, author of the Zero Waste Strategy, said, “These new contracts will help decrease Seattle’s carbon footprint, enhance the environment, and provide Seattleites with great new services.”
Beginning in April 2009, Seattle’s single-family households will be able to include meat, fish, and dairy products with their vegetable, fruit, and yard waste. The all-material organics will be picked up every week and taken to a composting facility. Council President Conlin said, “Table scraps will no longer be waste, but instead become a resource for the city’s gardens.” The new contracts will expand plastic container recycling, increase organics recycling in multi-family and commercial buildings, make it easier to recycle glass, expand education and outreach, and give Seattleites more options for recycling E-waste, used motor oil, and batteries. The new contracts also require garbage and recycling trucks to use clean fuels and have enhanced emissions control. In addition, the new contracts also establish a $100,000 annual Waste Reduction/Recycling Matching Fund for community recycling/waste reduction initiatives.
These contracts are a key part of the implementation of the Zero Waste Strategy that the Council passed in July 2007 after 18 months of work. Council President Conlin, chair of the Environment, Energy, and Utilities Committee, developed the Zero Waste Strategy as way to bring the City’s solid-waste policies in line with citizens’ environmental ethos. For more information of the Zero Waste Strategy visit http://seattle.gov/council/issues/zerowaste.htm.
Other aspects of the Zero Waste Strategy that will be implemented in coming months include:
Council President Conlin said, “Each of these actions add up and help create a more sustainable Seattle.”
- Plans to increase the recycling of Construction & Demolition waste;
- The renovation of the existing two transfer stations for improved recycling;
- A cap on the amount of waste Seattle will send to landfills—440,000 tons annually, the amount of trash disposed of in 2006.