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Local restaurants adopt green practices

Let me be the first to wish you happy "Green Eats Week."

By July of next year, all food service businesses - restaurants, grocery stores, delis, coffee shops and cafeterias - in Seattle are required to switch from one-time use throwaway food service products to one-time use products that are either compostable or recyclable.

But starting today, a bunch of restaurants in the area - Pagliacci Pizza on Capitol Hill and Queen Anne, Ivar's at Pier 54, Cupcake Royale, Husky Deli in West Seattle and 18 places at the Seattle Center - are serving at least one menu item that is in fully-compostable or recyclable service ware -- that is the bag, box, cup or other container. Some utensils are now compostable.

It's part of what's called the Food + Compostables program.

Why is this being done?

"Seattle recycles a lot, but there's still a lot of garbage that goes to the landfill," said Tim Croll, director of Seattle's Solid Waste Division. "There's a train about a mile long that pulls out of South Seattle everyday and heads down to Oregon, full of containers full of garbage to be disposed. One of those trains is about 6,000 tons and that's about the amount we would expect to save every year."

The city would also save hundreds of thousands of dollars in waste removal costs.

The restaurants taking part in the Food + Compostables program will highlight the items that are in this environmentally-friendly packaging, but they will have three bins for customers to use -- recycle, compost and garbage.

So what happens to all that compostable material? It goes to Cedar Grove, where it is turned into the rich black soil for your garden.

As part of Greet Eats Week, if you buy any of the special menu items, you'll get a two-part coupon for Cedar Grove Composting good for $3 off kitchen food scrap collection bags or $10 to $15 off home compost delivery through March of 2010.

For more information:

Green Eats Week
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