Magnolia is now competing with four other neighborhoods south of the Ship Canal for a $50,000 project, such as a new playground or park benches, offered by a garbage-collection company.
The contest, announced today by Cleanscapes, is part of its effort to reduce the amount of things stuffed into garbage, recycling and yard-waste bins in the city.
Ray Hoffman, head of Seattle Public Utilities, said that every week Seattle loads 5,100 tons of garbage onto a mile-long double-stacked train heading to a dump in Oregon 300 miles away. Cleanscapes chose South Seattle for the contest because it has a poorer record in garbage reduction than north Seattle neighborhoods. He said homes north of the ship canal produce about 18 pounds of garbage a week; those south of the canal 22 pounds.
SPU officials say households should replace their disposable paper bags, cups, water bottles, paper plates and shopping bags, in favor of durable, reusable items.
The five neighborhoods eligible for the contest are divided by day of pickup and include Magnolia, Queen Anne, downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and south Seattle. In all, it includes about 28,000 households.
The winner — the neighborhood with the biggest weight-reduction of what goes into its trash, recycling and yard-waste bins — will be announced in May. It will be up to winning neighborhood residents to decide how best to spend the prize money.
The Seattle Times interviewed Magnolia resident Pam Lewis who said she is excited about the contest and stood at the transfer station jotting down ideas. She said community education is key, and it’s critical to reach children who will not only help their parents reduce but will learn a habit they’ll carry on with their own families.
Other eligible neighborhoods include Queen Anne, Madison Park, Madrona and Leschi.