Crazy for Compost

Seattle residents dramatically increased their composting in 2009.

The year 2009 was a good one for composting in Seattle. Last year, residents of the Emerald City composted 47 percent more food scraps than they did the year before. City officials attribute the increase in part to the weekly collection of food waste.

“The city of Seattle would like to congratulate residents for substantially increasing the amount of food they recycle,” said Tim Croll, solid waste director for Seattle Public Utilities, in a press release. “On any given week, more than half of Seattle subscribers are putting their food and yard waste carts out for collection. By turning our food waste into compost, we are keeping Seattle's gardens, yards and parks green and healthy.”

Last year, the city collected approximately 26,000 tons of food waste from households for composting, according to Seattle Public Utilities. Overall, residents set aside more than 89,000 tons of organic waste, including yard waste, for composting, the city says. In 2008, food waste accounted for roughly 20 percent of the 400,000 tons of garbage that Seattle landfilled.

To celebrate the 2009 statistics, the city and Cedar Grove Composting, the company that creates compost from Seattle's organic waste, are distributing two free bags of compost to the city's households. “We hope that through this effort, more area businesses and residents will see the benefits that our compost products can offer for creating more sustainable gardens through less water usage, carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Steve Banchero, CEO of Cedar Grove Composting, in a press release.

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