Waste

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Seattle is a national leader and has set agressive goals for the future.

By 2030, the City of Seattle plans to divert 70% of its waste to recycling and composting. Seattle Public Utilities' solid waste plan is guided by a zero-waste resolution passed in 2007, and waste reduction is a key component of Seattle's Climate Action Plan.

Other goals are to develop new markets for recycled materials and have producers of the goods we consume take more responsibility for end-of-life management of their products. Learn more [link to internal actions you can take when built] about how you can help us reach these important goals.

OSE Key Initiatives

The Office of Sustainability and Environment plays a role in the following initiatives. See the Programs & Policies page of this section for all the Waste related work the City is engaged in.

Consumption and Climate
Our everyday purchasing choices have a carbon footprint that we can work to reduce.

Tracking progress how well we manage our waste

A signifcant portion of Seattle's waste management activities are focused on waste prevention. The chief policy directive guiding these activities is the Zero Waste Resolution (Resolution 30990), passed in June 2007 and the goals outlined in that resolution are embodied in the work program of Seattle Public Utilities. 

SOLID WASTEGOAL2012 SCORE
Missed Collections* Less than 1 per 1,000 stops (Once every 10 years for a typical household) Exceeded goal:
.19 per 1,000 stops
Garbage sent to landfill* 13,000 ton reduction (a 3% reduction from 2007 levels) Exceeded goal: 124,000 ton reduction (a 28% reductions from 2007 levels)
Recycling rate 60% by 2015 On-track: 55.7%

see entire SPU 2012 Annual Report Card

* Missed collection numbers for 2012 do not include the service interruption between July 25 - August1 for 60% of customers due to a labor dispute between Waste Management and its employees.
** The downturn in the economy since 2007 and increased recycling both had an effect on the amount of garbage sent to the landfill.