Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

Compost Collection Guidelines

Collection tips

  • To save money, put all accepted compostable items in the compost collection container, not in the garbage.
  • Put only accepted compostable items in your food and yard waste container. Loads contaminated with other items (such as metal, plastic or glass) will be collected as garbage at the higher garbage collection rate.
  • Observe weight limits for collector safety.
  • Do not rinse plates or pots into containers.
  • Keep containers accessible for collection. If your building is in Belltown, Downtown, or Pioneer Square, containers may not be stored in the public right-of-way. Learn about the City’s Clear Alleys program.

To avoid odors and pests

  • Keep containers clean and closed.
  • Drain liquids before putting food waste into containers
  • Line containers with newspaper or shredded paper to absorb liquids.
  • Frequently rinse containers into sanitary sewer drains only.
  • Contact your hauler to exchange dirty outdoor containers. A pickup/redelivery fee will be charged for this service. View Compost Rates.
  • Layer food scraps between soiled paper, waxed cardboard, or shredded paper.
  • Use paper bags or Cedar Grove Composting approved compostable bags for liners (call 1-877-764-5748).

Call your garbage collector to:

  • Change your compost or garbage container size or to adjust the frequency of collection.
  • Order locks to prevent unauthorized use of containers.