Seattle Aims To Recycle 60 Percent Of All Trash By 2012

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Out here next to Steamboat Slough and the lumber mill, piles of garbage from Seattle are lined up in neat rows and blanketed with a fabric similar to that used in high-end Gore-Tex clothing.

What goes in as yard waste and food scraps will emerge two months later as a mountain of loamy compost sold by the bag at garden centers throughout the Pacific Northwest by Cedar Grove Composting. In the process, the waste is ground up, piled up, aerated, dried and sifted. The space-age fabric covering the piles allows air to enter but keeps pungent odors from wafting over the countryside.

"This is the cool side of trash," Cedar Grove's founder, Steve Banchero, said of the process, which is on recycling's cutting edge.

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