Your opinions on mandatory food composting wanted

Laura Feinstein of the Solid Waste Advisory Council recently wrote us:

I was hoping to get an opinion from your readers on the topic of mandatory food composting for multifamily residents (apartment and condo residents). The city of Seattle is considering the idea of making food composting subscriptions mandatory for this sector of our city. It is already mandatory for Seattle residents living in single family homes. This requirement would mandate landlords and building managers provide food composting service to the occupants of the building for a cost that is similar to the cost that single family residents incur for this service. Several tenants may share a food waste cart so the cost could potentially be divided up to a much smaller number for each tenant. SPU estimates that there are 15,000 tons of organics going into the garbage from multifamily tenants currently. The city already provides voluntary food waste subscribtions to multifamily residents although only about 1,200 tons of organics is currently being diverted through voluntary means. The city is considering the implementation for the fall of 2011. I’d like to get input from BHB readers on how this would impact them positively, negatively or otherwise.

Please send an email to Laura at or leave a comment here on the blog with your input.

6 thoughts on “Your opinions on mandatory food composting wanted”

  1. I would love to have a place to put food waste. Every time I have to throw out bits of food I feel guilty putting them in trash. I’m currently living in large apartment complex a couple blocks from Red Apple and if there was a food waste bin there, between it and regular recycling I’d hardly have any trash to throw away!

  2. I think this is a wonderful idea! Since composting became mandatory, my garbage has dramatically shrunk! Just think of how much we can shrink the whole cities amount gargage if apartment complex and the like were required to compost too!

  3. I think it is a sensible and appropriate idea and can’t believe we are not already doing so. Why not?

    I fail to see the negative here only the positives.

    I remember when recyling become mandatory back in the 80’s or early 90’s, everyone made a fuss about it and look at us now.

    Food composting is super easy to do and should become just “what is done” rather than some people do and some people don’t compost or opt in/opt out. Nope-just compost.
    Let’s keep being a progressive city!

  4. This is a great idea. I live in a large condo complex and we had composting for a while. Suddenly it disappeared. When I asked why, I was told it was due to lack of participation. I don’t have space to compost at my condo so I would love to have a food waste bin. However, I believe the only way to bring it back to my complex is to make it mandatory. I don’t see why multifamily units should be exempt from this anyway.

  5. We put our food waste in our neighbor’s bin. I’d love to have our own bin. It’s a little bit of a hassle sometimes. I don’t think many of our neighbors compost, which is a bummer. I wonder, though, what would the cost be to residents?

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