Seattle suspends fines for those who fail to compost

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle residents who toss food waste in the trash instead of the compost bin won't be fined starting July 1 as initially proposed.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he is suspending fines for households and businesses that don't compost. The earliest fines can be issued is Jan. 1.

Murray said Wednesday he wants more time and additional outreach to educate people about the new recycling rules.

Last fall, the city passed an ordinance prohibiting food in garbage. Homeowners found with excess food in their trash would be fined $1 for each violation. The fine is up to $50 for a business or apartment complex.

Collectors began tagging garbage bins with warnings in January.

The mayor says the new composting program is working, and the city has a good chance of hitting its 60 percent recycling goal.