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Deciding on Compaction

Dumpster compactors can save you money. Consider the following when making a decision about a compactor:

  • Is your building suitable for a compaction system to be installed? Do you have a compactor room at street or alley level that is accessible to garbage collectors? Is it big enough to accommodate a 2-cubic-yard compactor? Note that larger high-rise buildings and very large mixed-use buildings may require larger compactors.
  • Is your compactor accessible to residents? Can you use chutes or carts to get garbage to the compactor room?
  • Will a compactor save you money? Compacting can reduce your garbage to ¼ the original amount. Even with the higher rate for compacted garbage, you may save on disposal bills. See Dumpster Rates.
  • Can you get the dumpster out of the compaction room and to the collection point? The weight of the container is four times that of uncompacted garbage. In many cases, a motorized or power-assisted vehicle may be necessary to get the container out of the building and to the collection point.

To find out more about compaction systems, look online (search keyword "garbage compactors").

New building projects

For help in planning garbage services inside new building projects, contact Liz Kain at liz.kain@seattle.gov or (206) 684-4166.

Estimating food waste

5-20 units 32 gallon
20-40 units 64 gallon
20-150 units 96 gallon*

* Must be accessible on a level surface. If the cart needs to be moved on a slope, a combination of smaller carts is recommended due to heavy weight.

See information on Multi-Family food waste.

Related links

Recycling for Apartment Owners
Food & Yard Waste for Apartment Owners