Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Court strikes down Seattle snoop-in-residents’-garbage law

“A judge has ruled that snooping trash collectors in Seattle cannot simply go through garbage bins without any sort of warrant to determine whether its citizens are putting food in the wrong place. It’s a win for the property-rights-focused lawyers of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF).” [Scott Shackford, earlier] While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in California v. Greenwood that an expectation of privacy does not apply to garbage, the Supreme Court of Washington has ruled that a provision in its own state’s constitution provides privacy protection that extends beyond the federal guarantee. [Eugene Volokh]

Environment roundup

“Quit snooping into trash, city of Seattle told in privacy lawsuit”

Seattle Times:

A group of privacy advocates is suing the city of Seattle, arguing that having garbage collectors look through people’s trash — to make sure food scraps aren’t going into the garbage — “violates privacy rights on a massive scale.”

“A person has a legitimate expectation that the contents of his or her garbage cans will remain private and free from government inspection,” argues the lawsuit filed [last] Thursday in King County Superior Court by the Pacific Legal Foundation.

More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Earlier on the city’s ban on food waste in trash, and severe limits on other types of material, here.

Mandatory composting/food recycling comes to Seattle

“Starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to throw food and food waste in the trash in Seattle, when a new ban takes effect to increase recycling and composting in the city.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer] “Food waste” includes things like used napkins and pizza boxes with food residue clinging to them. Residents are subject to fines if more than ten percent of their trash flow consists of recyclables, defined as including food and its associated materials as well as glass, metal, and other items subject to recycling. So are ordinary businesses (Seattle restaurants already come under a separate regime of recycling rules) and apartment landlords, who notoriously have trouble monitoring and controlling what tenants throw in the bins.

Readers who live there: is it lawful in Seattle to engage a private garbage service that isn’t subject to the municipal service’s rules?

Environmental roundup

  • California resists idea of charging market-clearing rate for water — too much like economics — and instead encourages tattling on neighbors [New York Times, Coyote]
  • Academia smitten by notion of “climate reparations” [Peter Wood, Minding the Campus]
  • Costly market intervention: “Minnesota doubles down on nation’s top biodiesel law” [Watchdog]
  • Reusable grocery bags have their problems for sanitation and otherwise, but California contemplates banning the alternatives [Katherine Mangu-Ward, Steven Greenhut, Reason]
  • Coming: film about Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain case [Nick Gillespie, Ilya Somin]
  • 45 years later: the famous 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga became a fable for its age [Jonathan Adler on the Cuyahoga]
  • Should beachfront owners have to open their land to all comers? [NY Times “Room for Debate”]
  • Plus: “EPA has no business garnishing wages without due process” [Examiner editorial, earlier]

NYC: Bloomberg mulls ban on Styrofoam cups, containers

Joining Seattle and Brookline, Mass., the “Bloomberg administration is considering banning Styrofoam cups and containers — popular at thousands of delis and food carts across the city — as it prepares to roll out a major recycling announcement in the coming weeks, a Sanitation Department official said yesterday.” [NY Post] “At the end of 2006, the New York Post rounded up what is very likely a partial list of items the New York City Council banned or considered banning.” [Ed Driscoll, via]

March 9 roundup