No food left behind

A Sustained Policy that is in place to reduce the food waste problem that the United States is being implemented in Seattle, Washington. The amount of food that the United States throws out each year is alarming. According to Science Direct, in 2008 it was estimated that the total value of food loss at the retail and consumer levels in the United States as purchased at retail prices was $165.6 billion”. One can only guess how much bigger this figure has grown over the last 9 years.

 

To help stop this issues from continuing to grow Seattle issues a municipal code sections 21,36,082 and 21,36, 083, were passed in 2015, and what this policy does is that it makes it illegal to put food into trash cans. This sustainable policy has been positive since it was passed in 2015. This is show when, before the, Ordinance, Seattle sent approximately 100,000 tons of food waste 300 miles to a landfill in eastern Oregon each year. This resulted in higher costs and greenhouse gas emissions  According to Seattle Public Utilities website after the ordinance was passed this led for  Seattle to send more than 125,000 tons of food and yard waste to composting processors. The material is now turned into compost for local parks and gardens. If a person does happen to throw food into their trash cans, they can be fine. If a Single household throws food into their trash cans then they will pay $1 per violation, but condos, apartments, and commercial buildings could be fined $50 this according to Settle mayor website. This will help discourage people from throwing their food into the trash cans, and reduce the food waste that goes into landfills.

 

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/01/26/381586856/tossing-out-food-in-the-trash-in-seattle-you-ll-be-fined-for-that

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServices/FoodYard/HouseResidents/FoodWasteRequirements/FAQs/index.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919212000693

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2 thoughts on “No food left behind

  1. I like the idea of fining people if food is found in their trash, however I think it might be difficult to keep continuous tabs. We should also consider food that that is thrown out in public areas. Food waste does need serious addressing, but it would require significant enforcement and commitment from both government and the public.

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  2. This is a good initiative towards managing food waste. however, the policy should go beyond residential food waste and gear more towards commercial food waste since large amounts of food waste is generated from commercial sectors such as cafes, hotels, grocery stores etc. Business may be given benefits and other perks such as discounted purchase of products to abide with the program.

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