DC Trawler

Judge To Seattle Trash-Cops: Can It

Last year I told you about a Seattle ordinance that authorized garbage collectors to fine people who put more than 10% food waste in their trash cans. That’s right, it’s now somebody’s job in Seattle to go out and judge other people’s garbage. Their commitment to saving the planet is so strong that they’ve basically invented trashcrime.

But now a Washington state judge is putting a lid on it, at least partially. Valerie Richardson, Washington Times:

A state judge threw out a portion of a Seattle ordinance requiring garbage collectors to snoop through residents’ trash in search of food waste, calling the provision unconstitutional.

King County Superior Court Judge Beth M. Andrus issued an injunction against the garbage inspections but not Seattle’s residential food-waste ban, which forbids throwing away food scraps and compostable paper.

“This ruling… renders invalid the provisions of the ordinance and rule that authorize a warrantless search of residents’ garbage cans when there is no applicable exception to the warrant requirement, such as the existence of prohibited items in plain view.”

Basically, she’s saying that the ordinance itself is a nice idea, but the city can’t violate people’s Constitutional rights to enforce it.

The United States Constitution. In Seattle. Weird, right?

Guess they’ll have to find some other way to keep people from dumping food waste in the landfills and making Gaia cry. Maybe if they raise the minimum wage again, it’ll drive everybody out of Seattle. No people, no garbage. Yay!