JUNE 2010

Seattle recycles food waste

The food scraps recycling by Seattle residents increased by 47 percent in 2009, thanks to new weekly collection contracts and customer participation. This puts Seattle’s recycling of food waste at approximately 10 times the national average.

To thank customers for their efforts, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Cedar Grove Composting ran a special campaign called Compost Days. Seattle residents were given two free bags of Cedar Grove compost and free Green Kitchen Kits.

Coupons for the free compost and the kitchen kits were distributed through SPU’s CurbWaste & Conserve Newsletter in late March. Coupons were also available in Pacific Northwest Magazine and the Sunday Seattle Times during late April and May. Local retailers also participated with discounts on additional bags or bulk loads of compost.

In 2009, Seattle residents turned more than 89,000 tons of organics into earth-friendly compost through food waste collection, backyard composting and grasscycling.

More than 26,000 tons of food waste was collected at the curb and returned back to local gardens, instead of going to the landfill. Food waste made up about 20 percent of the 400,000 tons of garbage Seattle sent to the landfill in 2008. Cedar Grove Composting has been composting Seattle’s yard waste for almost 20 years, and now handles yard and food waste collected from cities and counties all around Puget Sound.

Cedar Grove is one of the largest composting facilities in the United States, and the sole facility handling all the food waste in the immediate Seattle area.