Seattle's law banning food scraps from the garbage has been so successful the city will delay issuing fines for violators, the city's mayor said.
The city's ban on disposal of food scraps, which went into effect January, is on track to increase collection by 19,000 tons of material in 2015, city officials estimate. They hope to see the law yield an additional 38,000 tons of compostables in 2017, the third year of the program.
The city was set to begin issuing fines for violators July 1, but will delay issuing them until at least 2016, Mayor Ed Murray said. That will provide more time to educate customers about the law's requirements.
Under the city law approved in September, single-family household residents would face $1 fines on their bills if their garbage contained 10 percent or more organics or recyclable materials. Multi-family and commercial properties violating the law would receive two warnings, followed by a $50 fine.
In the meantime, Seattle Public Utilities, which administers the program, will conduct continued outreach to residents about the law's requirements. The city will mail materials to households, target outreach to ethnic communities and businesses, partner with community groups for outreach, place notices and flyers on garbage cans and conduct advertising, among other steps.
According to a city press release, the City is likely to meet its 60 percent diversion goal this year. In 2013, it achieved a 56 percent diversion rate.