Seattle is the first city in the nation to fine people for not properly sorting their garbage. The law took effect on Jan. 1 as a bid to keep food out of landfills and encourage composting instead.
Seattle Public Utilities estimates that every family in the city throws away some 400 pounds of food each year. And so the new law aims to incentivize recycling and composting. For now households that throw away food are warned with a bright red tag on their garbage bin — but fines will be imposed come Jul. 1.