I spend a lot of time in the Seattle area for work.
One of the weirdest areas I’ve noticed a change is in how I throw out trash, or rather how I feel about throwing things in the trash. Who even thinks about that, right? See, San Francisco passed a law a few years back that called for mandatory separation of recyclables and compostables. And the prevalence of bins for compost and recycling makes it so you hardly have to think about it. Sometimes it’s even easier to find those than regular trash cans. On top of that, glass, paper and plastics can all go into the same bin. Even better – by plastic they mean any of the numbers - no more checking the bottom of your plastic containers or taking off the caps on bottles. Most bins even have handy pictures on them to indicate what can and cannot go in them. My apartment came with a handy little compost bin that I can keep by the sink. And the city picks up compost like they do trash and recycling.
It’s pretty amazing to me how much garbage can be diverted from landfills and such.
But here in Seattle, I’m just not sure what to do. My office building only gives us individual trash cans, and a bin for recycling paper (which I really think is more for documents that need to be shredded). What am I suppose to do with my plastic bottles? What am I suppose to do with the compostable lunch take-out containers? I just feel bad that I’m putting them in the trash! Talk about habit changing.