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Seattle unveils ambitious solid waste plan

February 6, 2013

SEATTLE -- By 2016, Seattle would prohibit single-single homes, multi-family dwellings and businesses from throwing away organic waste, according to an ambitious update to the city's Solid Waste Management Plan that's being considered by lawmakers.

The plan would also prohibit all commercial construction and demolition debris from being landfilled by 2017.

In a meeting Feb. 5, the City Council's Libraries, Utilities, and Center Committee utilities committee voted to recommend that the full council approve the new solid waste plan, according to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Among the highlights of the city's new plan:

  • A 60 percent recycling rate by 2015.
  • A 70 percent recycling rate by 2022.
  • Single-family organics collection in 2014.
  • A 2014 ban on businesses sending plastic film and clean wood to landfills.
  • Multi-family organics collection in 2015.
  • A single-use plastic bag ban in stores in 2015.
  • A ban on commercial organics to landfills in 2016.
  • A ban of C&D debris to landfill in 2017.
  • A composting program for pet waste and diapers in 2020.

Seattle's recycling rate was 55.4 percent in 2011, according to data from the city.

No word on when the full council will take up the measure.