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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Comprehensive commercial recycling takes effect July 1

6/23/2014  2:15:00 PM

Brett Stav

SPU Customer Service  (206) 684-3000

Comprehensive commercial recycling takes effect July 1
Recyclable glass, aluminum, tin and plastic banned from commercial garbage

SEATTLE — Starting next week, Seattle businesses will be a little bit greener.

That’s because new city recycling regulations take effect July 1, prohibiting recyclable glass, aluminum, tin and plastic from commercial garbage.

“Keeping glass, aluminum, tin, and plastic recyclables out of the garbage in the commercial sector will not only increase commercial sector recycling by at least one percent by 2019 but should also re-energize the recycling conversation in the city,” said Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden.

In 2013, the Seattle City Council passed legislation to ban glass, aluminum, tin, and plastic recyclables in the waste stream. Prior to the legislation's adoption, the commercial sector was only proscribed from disposing of paper, cardboard and yard waste in the garbage.

“Seattle’s expanded commercial recycling program will prevent upwards of 200 shipping containers from heading to the landfill per year,” said Seattle Public Utilities Solid Waste Director Tim Croll. “Requiring commercial recycling combined with education and outreach will help businesses meet their recycling goals and their bottom lines.”

“Taco Time and many other Seattle businesses already recycle and compost cups, bottles and other containers. By prohibiting these items from the garbage, this law helps our staff and customers understand that they can recycle the same things at our restaurant that they do at home,” said Wes Benson, Taco Time Franchise Affairs and Sustainability Manager.

For the first 12 months of the program, City of Seattle inspectors will emphasize education to ensure compliance with the new recycling regulations. Beginning in July 2015, businesses that are found to have repeatedly placed significant amounts of recyclables in their garbage may receive $50 fines.

The City of Seattle’s goal is to recycle or compost 60 percent of its solid waste by 2015. Currently, the city recycles 55.7 percent of its waste.

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In addition to providing a reliable water supply to about 1.3 million residents in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the City’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region's environmental resources.



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