CurbWaste & Conserve newsletter
Connecting people to the source of Seattle's drinking water, inspiring confidence, stewardship and sustainability.Your monthly update of tips and information on recycling, water conservation and other environmental programs and events in Seattle.
Questions? Comments? Contact us at (206) 684-3000.

Compost Food: It’s Not Garbage


Every year, Seattle spends more than $13 million sending trash to a landfill in eastern Oregon. More than one-third of the material is made up of table scraps, coffee grounds, banana peels and other food waste.

Starting January 1, 2015 the City of Seattle will no longer allow the disposal of food and compostable paper, such as food-soiled paper and napkins, in the garbage. After July 1, 2015 fines will be issued to residents and businesses for garbage containers containing too much food or recyclables. .

Today, more than 300,000 single-family, multi-family and commercial establishments participate in Seattle’s food and yard waste program. This program has diverted nearly 400,000 tons of food waste from entering the landfill through curbside food collection since 2005. Visit our food and yard website to learn more about composting.

Compost Your Holiday Greens

christmas tree

Seattle residents may compost trees and greens, free of charge, between December 26 and January 11.

At the South Transfer Station: Trees should not exceed eight feet in length and must be free of decorations so they can be turned into compost for local parks and gardens. Trunk length should not exceed four inches in diameter. The transfer station will accept up to three trees per vehicle for free. The South Transfer Station is located at 130 South Kenyon St. For more information visit our dump and transfer station website or call (206) 684-8400.

At the Curb: Food and yard waste subscribers can put trees and greens out on their regular collection day if trees are cut into sections, six feet or shorter, and branches are trimmed to less than four feet to fit into collection trucks. Bundle each section with sisal string or twine (not plastic). Decorated, flocked and plastic trees are not recyclable and will be charged as extra garbage.

At Apartments: Check with your manager. Multi-family buildings can put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge.

Holiday Household Hazardous Waste


There is usually some assembly required during the holiday season, and this sometimes involves batteries, CFL light bulbs and other household hazardous waste.

  • Fluorescent bulbs and tubes, Ni-Cad and Lithium rechargeable and other batteries can be disposed of, free of charge, at Seattle’s household hazardous waste stations.
  • Incandescent light bulbs, regular Christmas lights and alkaline batteries, such as AA, AAA, C, and D can be disposed of in your curbside garbage.

For more information on where to dispose of household hazardous waste, including station locations and hours, visit King County's hazardous waste website or call (206) 296-4692.


Holiday Collection Schedule

If your regular collection day falls on Christmas (Thursday, 12/25), the day after (Friday, 12/26), New Year’s Day (Thursday, 1/1) or the day after (Friday, 1/2) your collection will be one day later.

To look up your collection day or report a missed collection, visit the City of Seattle website or call (206) 684-3000.

Snow/Ice Collections

During snowy or icy weather, visit our website or follow us on social media and be the first to know about impacts to your service:

You can also check your local news to see if there are any delays in your collection.

Holiday Waste Reduction Tips

This holiday season, you can give a great gift to the environment. Learn how to take simple steps to prevent holiday waste.

Contact Us

Customer Service
(206) 684-3000

Use the Look It Up Tool to see how to get rid of unwanted recycling, garbage and compost.

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