composting | KNKX

composting

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

You may have noticed more food service providers changing the kinds of disposable utensils you get with takeout. In Seattle, a ban on plastic straws and cutlery officially kicks in this weekend. As of July 1, all eateries in city limits are required to provide straws and utensils that can be composted.

Over 50 food vendors are pitching tents at the Seattle Center this weekend for the annual Bite of Seattle food fest. Organizers are hoping to make this year’s festival a zero-waste event. There are three new composting and recycling booths where visitors can dump their plates and forks.

normanack / Flickr

Food and yard waste make up more than a third of Seattle’s waste stream. Much of that used to go into the trash, but now it’s being composted.

Since 2009, the city has been providing weekly pick up of organic waste. Last year it dramatically increased the kinds of things allowed in municipal compost bins, to include meats and dairy products. Seattle residents composted 125,000 tons of food and yard waste last year. That represents a big shift over the past decade or so.

Bart Maguire / Flickr photo

A lot of people clear out old documents after the New Year, but you might want to think twice before shredding them.  Paper scraps are too small for some recycling companies to take from residential customers. 

Recycling workers sort out all types and sizes of paper when it arrives at the center.  Newspapers go in one pile, envelopes in another.  But those scraps of shredded bills?