South Recycling Center

What & Why

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is redeveloping the old South Recycling and Disposal Station site, located near the intersection of 5th Ave S and S Kenyon St in Seattle. This 10-acre site, part of the South Park Landfill, will be redeveloped as the South Recycling Center which will include a recycling and reuse center, as well as the existing household hazardous waste facility. The project will provide access to free recycling and hazardous waste disposal and will improve operational efficiencies.

What’s happening now?

The project is currently in the design phase. We expect the design process to finish by the end of 2019 and construction to start in 2020.

Here is a summary of our community engagement efforts so far: 

  • Meetings and ongoing project updates to project stakeholders
  • Participation in community events to gain input on project elements
  • Drop-in sessions for residential and business neighbors
  • Community outreach for public artwork via Office of Arts & Culture
  • Project website updates
  • Translated fact sheet and survey
  • A project video, also available in Spanish and Vietnamese

Site facilities

Recycling and Reuse Center (Public Access)

This new facility will allow FREE drop-off of recyclables including mixed recycling including glass, mixed paper, plastic and cardboard. Other materials, like metals, used motor oil, batteries, sharps, bicycles, and reusable household items, will also be accepted. Customers accessing these services will no longer have to wait in line at the South Transfer Station to drop off these materials.

Household Hazardous Waste Facility (Public Access)

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities accept a variety of products including oil-based paints, cleaning products, batteries, and fluorescent light bulbs and tubes. The existing HHW facility will remain at this location and undergo modifications to improve traffic flow.

Pedestrian Path (Public Access)

The new path along 5th Ave S will extend the existing path north of the site. The path will include landscaping and may include art displays and/or benches.

Solid Waste Support Facilities (Closed to Public)

Solid waste transfer services include the garbage and yard waste that residents and businesses set out for collection and is picked up by our haulers. This site will include facilities needed to support solid waste transfer services such as offices, as well as crew and trailer parking.

Project goals and benefits

  • More recycling options will help us reach Seattle’s goal of recycling 70 percent of our waste by 2022.
  • More efficient operation and better services provided to all city residents and businesses.
  • The site redevelopment also includes environmental benefits:
    • Capping the old landfill controls any landfill gas emissions, safeguards employees and the public from direct exposure to buried waste, and helps meet modern environmental standards. Capping was identified as a proposed cleanup action in the Interim Action Work Plan with the Washington State Department of Ecology.
    • An onsite drainage system will reduce the amount of rainwater soaks through the landfill, keeping the groundwater cleaner.
  • We understand the importance of trees in South Park. The original plan did not allow for planting of new trees on-site due to restrictions by the Department of Ecology (DOE) for the landfill. Based on community feedback, the team successfully negotiated with the DOE, and received exemption to plant new trees in certain locations.
  • Of the existing 72 trees on-site, the project is able to preserve 13 existing trees (including 11 trees from the grove). In addition, we can:
    • Plant 23 new trees onsite
    • Plant 32 new trees in the right of way (streets) nearby
    • Rehabilitate 66 existing trees in South Park
  • The newly planted trees will provide 47,110 square feet of canopy in South Park.
  • The Office of Arts & Culture continues to lead this effort along with project artist, Adam Kuby.
  • Other sustainability features will include:
    1. Repurposing a closed landfill site
    2. Reusing demolition and recycled material
    3. Installing vehicle charging stations
    4. Reducing site energy use
    5. Reducing water use
    6. Reducing off-site light pollution
    7. Installing underground infrastructure to minimize disturbance
    8. Installing solar-ready structures