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Washington DC passes bill requiring residents to compost trash

Updated: Thursday, July 17 2014, 05:59 PM CDT
You've probably heard of composting, but do you know how to do it?
People who live in DC will have to learn after the city council passed a bill requiring residents to take an extra step in their trash disposal.
"When you're through with that apple we'd love the core."
Five years ago San Francisco became the first big city in the US to require all residents to compost.

"Any leftover gone bad in your fridge, just toss them all into your green cart."
Since then, several other cities on the west coast have followed suit, and now DC wants in.

Yesterday, city council members passed a bill that will require all residents to separate their waste into three categories.

"So DC residents are already required to separate their trash from their recycling, but now they're going to get a third bin and that's be for the compost."

"How do you haul that down three flights of stairs and separate that out? It's going to be a bit difficult," said Jessica Melton, a DC resident.

"Are you okay with that?"
"I like the idea of it, but I don't know if I'm okay with it. But I have no idea how to compost.  I'll have to ask my mother-in-law, I have no idea."

Not to worry says the bills sponsor Councilwoman Mary Cheh, who says it will likely be 2017 before the program is in place operational.

"What we will do is move forward vigorously to educate people about what it means and how they can comply.  That's what we want."

"I already compost, so I think it's a great idea.  It's pretty simple. You just have a little bin, you throw some stuff there, throw some grass over it, some leaves, it's really not a big intellectual step up. I think most people can handle it."

But not everyone shares this DC resident's enthusiasm, especially when they learn eventually they could be fined for failing to separate their trash properly.

"I'm not excited about any more fines. It's bad enough with speed cameras, and all this other stuff. So I don't need a composting fine."

"What do you say to the DC residents who say, 'Hey, I just don't want to compost.'"
"This is a new world that we're in. We're all on spaceship earth and we have to conserve what we have and keep clean what we have."Washington DC passes bill requiring residents to compost trash

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