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Food & Yard Waste - Apartment/Condo Owners

Starting January 1, 2015, the City of Seattle will no longer allow food and compostable paper, including food-soiled pizza boxes, paper napkins and paper towels, in the garbage. Starting January 1, 2016 fines will be issued to businesses and residents whose garbage containers contain too much food or recyclables.

By law, Seattle apartment and condominium properties of five or more units must provide a food waste collection cart for residents to use.

To subscribe, adjust the cart size, or report missed service or a missing liner for the cart, call (206) 684-7665.

Food and Yard Waste Service Options

  • Cart sizes and costs
  • Curb/Alley weekly service - Carts must be set out at the curb or alley by 7:00 a.m. and retrieved after collection. Most economical option.
  • On-site service - Collectors access and empty the carts wherever they are located. Most convenient option. Weekly additional collection available for added cost.
  • Contact private waste hauling companies to compare services and pricing.

Friend of Recycling and Composting Program

The Friend of Recycling and Composting (FORC) program offers a one-time $100 credit on the property’s utility bill, plus free trainings to help improve recycling and composting at multi-family buildings.

Sign up for FORC

Sign up a person (manager, facilities staff, or resident) who is on the property at least once a week to be a Friend of Recycling and Composting (pdf).

  • Sign up online - OR -
  • Call (206) 684-7665 to sign up with an SPU customer service representative - OR -
  • Leave a message at (206) 684-8717 to request a paper application

After signing up, you can now take one or both of the steps below for benefits!

Receive the $100 credit

The FORC will receive a green folder in mail that includes educational brochures and these documents:

The pledge in the folder includes action steps needed on the property. When it is checked off, signed, and returned to SPU, the building’s account will receive a one-time $100 credit on the garbage bill within two billing cycles.

Attend the free training

The FORC can register to attend a free training that will help improve recycling and composting on the property. To get on the waiting list for the next training, contact registrar Mason Giem at (206) 684-5223 or mason.giem@seattle.gov. No FORC trainings are currently scheduled. Free Flyers, Posters, and Videos. Available in many languages.

Resources for Success at Your Property

Backyard Composting on Your Property

Some properties may also wish to make compost at home. Composting on your property can save money and benefit the environment. However, no dairy or meat products should go in a home pile due to potential odor or pest problems. They are accepted in the curbside collection cart. Food waste such as soiled pizza boxes, napkins, and paper towels should also go into the cart.

Related links

Food & Yard Waste for Residents of Apartments & Condos
Reduce, Reuse, Exchange - Keep useful items out of the waste stream
Can I recycle this item? Look It Up!
Cedar Grove Composting - Local processor of food and yard compost materials
A-Z fruit and vegetable storage guide to keep your produce from going to waste
Other tips to save food and keep it from going to waste