League logoTHE VOTER
A Publication of The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham

Published August 2007

Solid Waste and Mass Transit in Seattle

recycle trash can iconLeonette Slay recently vacationed in Seattle where the city council is considering aggressive solid waste management recommendations known as the Zero Waste Strategy.  The intent is to double the rate of recycling and composting in Seattle by 2025.  If the city council adopts the proposed changes, plastic foam takeout boxes and cups would be completely banned, shoppers will initially have to pay a penny or more per plastic bag, with the goal of eventually banning all plastic bags in favor of biodegradable ones, and businesses will have to reduce organic and construction waste.  In the last 10 years, Seattle has reduced its trash output from 765,000 tons in 1995 to 438,000 tons in 2006. 

A side note: Leonnette also had the pleasant experience of using Seattle's bus system, which ran every 10-15 minutes on a Sunday, was almost full of passengers, and charged only $1.25 for nonrush hour, but since she was a visitor, the driver charged her $.50! 

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