Seattle Aims for Zero Waste

Seattle – Seattle Public Utilities has adopted an initiative that aims for zero waste in an effort to reduce dependency on landfills and to lower disposal, transportation and energy costs for the city. The initiative, called Wasteless in Seattle, calls for mandatory recycling, with fines being given out starting in January of 2006, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The city’s budget, which was approved last year, contains an extra $400,000 this year for waste prevention.The city, which currently has a 40% recycling rate, is aiming for a 60% recycling rate.

City officials aim to cut down on government waste by encouraging using electronic presentations, re-using paper and other efforts.

"Recycling is throwing something away that can be made into a different product, but waste prevention means not making the waste in the first place" said Chris Luboff, solid-waste planning supervisor for Seattle Public Utilities. "We're trying to broaden that concept."