Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, Director

Apartment Residents

Compost Food - It’s Not Garbage Anymore!

The City of Seattle no longer allows food and compostable paper, including food-soiled pizza boxes, paper napkins and paper towels, in the garbage.

Sorting food and yard waste into the food and yard waste cart reduces garbage and greenhouse gases, saves landfill space, and results in compost that enriches the soil of local parks and gardens.

Take advantage of the benefits of composting rather than throwing it all away.

Are you a new resident?

As of July 15, 2011 new water/sewer/garbage accounts are no longer opened in tenant names. Learn more >

Current accounts in tenant names will remain active until closing is requested.

Friends of Recycling and Composting (FORC)

If you are a dedicated recycler, ask your property manager if you can sign up as your property's FORC steward. In addition to enjoying the satisfaction of helping your community and the environment, the property will get a one-time $100 utility bill credit and could receive free kitchen bins. FORC responsibilities (pdf) include educating residents and monitoring containers.

After signing up, the FORC receives a green folder that includes a pledge form. The pledge form (pdf) must be filled out and returned to SPU before the $100 credit will be applied to the property account. As a FORC steward, you may also wish to attend an optional training (pdf). For information, email Lauren.Hoerr@seattle.gov.

What goes in my food and yard waste cart?

All food scraps including fruit, vegetables, yard trimmings, meat, dairy, and fish as well as food-soiled waste like pizza boxes, paper napkins and kitchen paper towels are accepted. Find out more.

How do I store kitchen scraps?

Use a reusable container with a lid, approved compostable bags, and wrap food scraps in newspaper or a paper bag. No plastic bags or containers are allowed. See these handy tips.

Want to Start Food and Yard Waste Collection Service?

If you can’t find the food and yard waste cart at your building, ask your manager for the location.

City law requires all residential properties, including apartments and condominiums, to make a food and yard waste cart available for residents. If your property doesn’t have food and yard waste service, ask your property owner or manager to review the Apartment/Condo Owners website and sign up.

Reduce Waste at Community Meetings and Parties

Use this handy tip sheet (pdf) to minimize waste at your gatherings.

Compost on Your Property

Some properties prefer to make compost at home. This can save money and benefit the environment. However, no dairy or meat products can go into a home pile due to potential odor or animal and pest problems.

Related links

Where Does It Go? Flyer – to find out where to dispose of household items
Reduce, Reuse, Exchange - for ways to keep other useful items out of the waste stream
Can I recycle this item? Look It Up!
Cedar Grove Composting - Local processor of yard and food 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