Has government gone to far in the recycling business? ------------ In Seattle, wasting food will now earn you a scarlet letter — well, a scarlet tag, to be more accurate. The bright red tag, posted on a garbage bin, tells everyone who sees it that you've violated a new city law that makes it illegal to put food into trash cans. "I'm sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors' cans," says Rodney Watkins, a lead driver for Recology CleanScapes, a waste contractor for the city. He's on the front lines of enforcing these rules. Seattle is the first city in the nation to fine homeowners for not properly sorting their garbage. The law took effect on Jan. 1 as a bid to keep food out of landfills. Other cities like San Francisco and Vancouver mandate composting, but don't penalize homeowners directly. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/20...the-trash-in-seattle-you-ll-be-fined-for-that ---------- Here in Minneapolis they recently passed a city wide tax, approximately $77 annually per household, to implement a compost recycling project. Citizens are supposed to separate food wastes by putting them in a separate container which they put on the curb for the city to collect. The idea is to take the food wastes and use them for compost. A couple of problems with the law: 1. Restaurants are exempt 2. Buildings with more than four households are exempt (apartments, condominiums, hotels, etc.) That means the entities that create the most food waste in the city are not covered by the law. Also, Minneapolis residents now have to put on curbside their garbage, their paper recycling, their metal recycling, and their food recycling. Four separate containers.