Northwest Asian Weekly | ID alleys beware: compost bins are moving in and taking over

More and more commercial businesses are getting in on the composting movement.

Owners of 25 restaurants and businesses are kicking the stink of communal dumpsters by enrolling in the City of Seattle Compost Collection service. Food scraps are collected in 60-gallon, 8-yard containers and hauled to Cedar Grove Organics Recycling, LLC for composting.

Restaurants are recycling food waste instead of composting because there are currently no on-site facilities that physically break down food waste and turn it into fertilizer.

Among composting service participants is Phnom Penh, a Cambodian restaurant located near the corner of South King Street and Maynard Avenue South. Restaurant owner Sam Ung said that since his business started the program last month, about 60 percent of Phnom Penh’s waste is compostable, 30 percent is recyclable, and 10 percent is trash.

“There’s very little trash,” he said. “We recycle glass, plastics, and cardboard. All the scraps go into the compost box.”

Ung said he was aiming for environmental stewardship when he enrolled in the composting service.

“I [have] always encouraged my employees to recycle,” he said. “If we can save a few things, if people do things, it helps the environment. You can save something for your next generation to use. It’s good — I like the program.”

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