Who knew that pizza boxes could help make plants grow?
Back in 2008, the city of Seattle asked Uwajimaya Village, one of Equity Residential’s local communities, to be part of a pilot for a new composting project. We happily agreed, and worked with our residents to get the program in place.
The city provided information and tools for residents to help promote the project, including compost buckets and information about what can and cannot be composted. Unlike backyard composting, this is industrial composting, meaning many non-recyclable items can be composted, including food waste, pizza boxes and paper towels. After collection of the bins, all yard and food waste is processed into compost and sold at local home and garden stores.
After beginning with just one composting bin, Uwajimaya Village wound up adding several more to keep up with resident demand.
A couple of unexpected benefits were also noticed at Uwajimaya. First off, there were fewer pizza boxes thrown into the trash chutes – and therefore fewer blockages caused by them. Also, the landscapers were able to make fewer trips to haul cuttings and leaves, cutting down on fuel consumption and emissions.
The composting project has been such a successful undertaking that in 2011, Seattle instituted a mandatory composting program for multifamily properties, with the goal of diverting 70% of its municipal solid waste to recycling and composting by 2025. We’re proud to have been in on the ground floor of this initiative and to do our part to promote green/sustainable programs in our communities.
Visit the Seattle Public Utilities website to download a Compostable Items Flyer.