09/23/2014 12:18 EDT | Updated 11/23/2014 05:59 EST

Seattle residents will be fined for putting food waste in trash instead of compost bins

SEATTLE - Seattle residents who fail to separate food waste from trash will be fined.

The City Council voted Monday to impose the fines for not composting.

KING reports ( ) when the ordinance goes into effect next year, homeowners found with food scraps in their trash will be fined $1 for each violation. The fine is up to $50 for a business or apartment complex.

Seattle Public Utilities estimates that about a third to one-half of what now goes in the trash should be recycled or put in compost bins.

The new law is aimed at helping Seattle reach its goal of having a recycling rate of 60 per cent by 2015. The change is expected to generate an additional 38,000 tons of compost material every year.

San Francisco also has a mandatory composting ordinance.


Information from: KING-TV,