SPU Apartment Condo News
This monthly newsletter will keep you informed about ways to reduce utility costs while conserving resources.
Questions? Comments? Contact - marcia.rutan@seattle.gov or (206) 684-3976

Deadline November 18:
Apply for Free Kitchen Buckets
and Compostable Supplies

Kitchen bucket and composting

Free kitchen buckets and compostable supplies are available for study participants.

SPU seeks four Seattle multi-family properties of 50 or more units to participate in a free two- month food waste collection study, funded by EcoSafe, to determine the effect of EcoSafe’s products on resident participation and contamination reduction. Selected properties will receive:

  • free food waste kitchen buckets for all units
  • a 2-month supply of compostable 3-gallon bags
  • a common area dispenser for compostable bags

To apply, contact Marcia Rutan at marcia.rutan@seattle.gov or (206) 684-3976 by November 18.

In addition, EcoSafe is offering a 25% discount on food waste kitchen “caddies” (buckets), compostable bags and bag dispensers for a limited time to all interested. These products work together to make food waste collection easier, cleaner, more convenient and affordable. To take advantage of this introductory discount and to learn more about EcoSafe’s Multi-Unit Residential Diversion (MURD) program, visit ecosafezerowaste.com/MURD.

Hearthstone Saves Big After
Food Waste Collection Start-up

Hearthstone Facilities Lead Wayne Murphy and Head Chef JoAnne Card

Facilities Lead Wayne Murphy and Head Chef JoAnne Card trained staff to reduce waste and improve recycling.

The Hearthstone’s central kitchen supplies three meals a day to nearly 250 residents at their continuing care retirement community near Green Lake. Head Chef JoAnne Card trained her staff and developed a seamless waste-sorting system in all of the food service stations in the building. Signs were placed throughout the kitchen to remind and help staff to put waste in the correct bins. The Hearthstone trained staff to both sort food waste and to improve recycling. They now come close to filling ten recycling dumpsters each week in addition to six food and yard waste carts! Facilities Lead Wayne Murphy commented, “If you have any sense of what is happening to the planet, you will want to do it.”

After evaluating their waste production, the Hearthstone has saved $1,200 per month by having their trash compactor emptied less often. Staff members feel good that they are helping to keep large amounts of waste out of landfills.

To discuss how your property can reduce costs or to share a success story, contact Marcia Rutan at (206) 684-3976 or marcia.rutan@seattle.gov.


Multi-family Resident Survey Results

Last year, SPU sent out a survey to learn more about food waste from a tenant point of view. Seattle properties of five or more units were the target audience. More than 1,650 residents responded and here is some of their feedback:

  • Signs and posters at the building improved participation
  • The CurbWaste & Conserve newsletter from Seattle Public Utilities was correlated with greater participation. Be sure to distribute it!
  • Older residents recycle and compost more. In addition, senior facility “commercial” kitchens are big opportunities to reduce waste and save money. SPU provides kitchen containers to help. Leave a message at (206) 684-8717, press #2.
  • 16% of respondents couldn’t find the food and yard waste cart. Although all Seattle properties are required by law to make a cart available to residents, many frustrated tenants couldn’t find it.
  • 71% of residents with access to food and yard waste carts use them at least once a week.  
  • Inconvenience is a major barrier. If the cart is too hard to find or too far away, residents won’t participate. Try grouping your food/yard, recycling, and garbage containers outdoors for maximum convenience. Notify tenants about container locations through new tenant orientation, newsletters, notices, and posters.



FORC Training November 1

The last Friend of Recycling and Composting (FORC) training of 2013 will be held downtown mid-day Nov 1. Pre-registration is required by October 28.

Interested properties must sign up a FORC first, which results in a $100 credit on the utility bill. Free food waste buckets for all units if a FORC attends the training.

Rental Registration
& Inspection in 2014

To improve and safeguard the health and safety of housing for all Seattle renters, rental properties must register with the City starting in 2014.

Properties with more than 10 units will need to register by July 1, 2014, and properties with 5-9 units will need to register by December 31, 2014. Smaller properties will register later. Inspections of buildings (not units) will occur every 10 years.


Stop Catalogs
and Junk Mail

The average American receives 41 pounds of junk mail every year. Want a hassle-free holiday season? Sign up with Catalog Choice, a company that provides free junk mail opt-out services for Seattle residents and businesses.

Reduce Party Garbage

Why bother? Conserve resources, reduce costs, and feel good that our festivities aren’t the cause of gross trash. This information sheet (pdf) provides choices to lessen your holiday party footprint and keep your recycling conscience at peace. Happy Holidays!

Contact Us

If you have any recycling, food waste collection, or garbage service issues and your property has five or more units, call an SPU multifamily service specialist at (206) 684-7665.

If your property has four or fewer units, call SPU Customer Service at (206) 684-3000.

Marcia Rutan email | (206) 684-3976 http://www.seattle.gov/util/