Residents and businesses in US city Seattle will be fined if their rubbish bins contain more than 10 per cent food waste.
Households will be fined $1 (£0.61) and businesses and apartments blocks will get a $50 fine for breaking the rules.
Seattle is following the example of San Francisco in introducing the ordinance that begins on 1 January 2015.
Although it already recycles 56 per cent of its waste, Seattle aims to reach 60 per cent in 2015.
It will operate by the waste collection staff noting too much food waste on a computerised system and the fine will be added to the customer’s waste collection bill.
Seattle Public Utilities solid waste director Tom Croll told the Seattle Times newspaper that the council does not expect to make money from the scheme with less than £1,200 being raised in recycling fines over the nine years since recyclable items were banned from residual waste containers.
He added: “The point isn’t to raise revenue. We care more about reminding people to separate their materials.”