April 27, 2016

Victory: Judge throws out garbage snooping law

By Ethan W. Blevins Attorney

Today, Judge Beth Andrus ruled that Seattle cannot hunt through its residents’ garbage in search of prohibited food waste. Our lawsuit, Bonesteel v. City of Seattle, challenged a Seattle law that says garbage collectors must search through trash cans along their routes each week to determine whether more than ten percent of the volume of your garbage contains food waste or recyclables. We relied on Washington’s right to privacy, which ensures that “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs” without a warrant. The judge agreed that the garbage can contains private information about our lives that deserve protection from prying eyes. If Seattle wants to rifle through your trash, it’ll now need a warrant. You can read the judge’s opinion here.

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