Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page This Department

Commercial / Business Recycling

  • Parco CaféMadison Park’s Parco Café achieved "Greenest" status by recycling their mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs.
  • University Frame Shop;University Frame Shop is a “Green” business that expanded recycling for paper, bottles and cans, glass and cardboard.

A wide variety of materials from businesses can be recycled and reprocessed—such as scrap metals, office machines and furniture, business electronics and phones—in addition to conventional recyclables like glass, paper, and plastic.

Free recycling assistance

The Green Business Program, a free resource provided by Seattle Public Utilities, provides free recycling and conservation assistance to all Seattle businesses. Call (206) 343-8505.

Free limited-service cart recycling

If you have a City of Seattle commercial garbage account, you are eligible for free cart recycling service. The service is limited to two (2) recycling carts, collected every other week. For more information, contact your garbage provider:

Private recycling services

Seattle businesses can also request recycling service from any private recycling company. Many recycling companies will pay customers for recyclable materials. For referrals to private providers, contact the Green Business Program online or by phone at (206) 343-8505.

Self-haul recycling

If your business doesn’t need regular recycling service, you can take accepted materials to the Transfer Stations. There is no charge for recycling traditional items like glass, metal and plastic. The transfer stations also recycle building materials, vehicle batteries, used motor oil and tires; fees may apply.

Keep recyclables out of garbage

City ban ordinance requires recyclable materials and yard debris be kept out of garbage. Garbage containers filled with more than 10 percent of recyclable paper or yard waste will be tagged. After two warnings (pdf), businesses will be charged $50 for each violation.

Clear Alleys Program

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.

Why waste a good thing?

Even better than recycling is reuse, such as using building materials and architectural pieces that have been salvaged from construction and remodeling projects. Online exchanges can help your business find items you need or an eager buyer for your surplus goods.

Commercial Compost Collection costs less than regular garbage pickup. It diverts yard debris and food scraps from the landfill by turning them into compost for local parks and gardens.

Often, valuable materials can be recovered even from wastes that are hazardous—such as mercury-containing fluorescent tubes. For help on recycling and safe disposal of hazardous waste, call the Business Waste Line (206) 296-3976.

Related links

Commercial Garbage
Recycling & Disposal Stations
Prohibition of Recyclables in Garbage (pdf)
Educational Tag (pdf) used when a significant amount of recyclables are found in a business’ garbage
Recycling Guidelines poster (pdf)

Links to other sites

Document Destruction and Shredding Services - This document shredding directory provides resources for safely shredding and recycling paper
Cleanscapes, Inc - a local collection company offering a variety of commercial services to Seattle area businesses
Waste Management - tailored commercial recycling and compost collection services for businesses throughout the city of Seattle
Cedar Grove Organics Recycling, LLC - a local compost collection company and a processor of organic compostable materials
E-Cycle Washington - for recycling of computers, monitors and TVs
Industrial Materials Exchange (IMEX) - online market of industrial by-products, surplus materials and wastes, run by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County
Local Hazardous Waste Management Program - help on recycling and safe disposal of hazardous wastes
Second Use - a South Seattle retail store with vintage architectural pieces and salvaged building materials
The ReStore - in Ballard for salvaged cabinets, doors, windows, plumbing and lighting fixtures and flooring
Earthwise - in South Seattle for reusable building materials and architectural features
Donate Seattle - charitable organizations’ wish lists. They may need something you no longer want
City of Seattle Legislative Information Service
Climate Action Now