Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

Keep Garbage Out of Recycling

When garbage is put in the same container as recycling, the recycling becomes contaminated. It must then be collected and charged as garbage.

To prevent contamination:

  1. Educate building residents. You can ask for educational materials from SPU at (206) 684-7665 or from your hauler. You can also order them online.
  2. If you need help solving an ongoing contamination problem, call your recycling collector or SPU Solid Waste Customer Service at (206) 684-7665.
  3. Monitor your recycling containers. Spend some time each week to make sure your recycling containers do not have garbage or organic waste. Recruit a Friend of Recycling & Composting (FORC) and get a one-time $100 rebate on your property’s utility bill. FORCs check containers and educate residents about what they can recycle. Call the SPU voice mailbox at (206) 684-8717, press #1, and respond to the prompt for an information packet.
  4. Make it easy to recycle. Keep the recycling area well-lighted and free of debris. In larger buildings, consider setting up a sorting station on each floor.
  5. Secure your recycling area. Keep passers-by from putting garbage in your recycling by locking your containers or recycling area. Make sure that haulers have access to the containers for collection.