Seattle trashes privacy rights by having garbage collectors snoop for food waste on Courting Liberty

PLF Director of Communications Harold Johnson interviews PLF Attorney Ethan Blevins about the current state of Bonesteel v. City of Seattle, where PLF represents a number of Seattle residents in challenging the city’s food waste ordinance, designed to stop citizens from throwing out “significant amounts” of food waste and/or compostable paper.

The food waste ban requires garbage collectors to monitor the contents of garbage cans (through “visual inspection”), and to report owners to Seattle Public Utilities when “significant amounts” of a can’s contents (more than 10 percent) are made up of recyclables or food waste. Currently, an “educational” tag is affixed to offending cans.

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