Public Garbage & Recycling Cans

Photo of litter cans on a sidewalk
The majority of SPU public garbage and recycling cans are made of metal slates with a rounded top.

Seattle has a goal to recycle 70% of our solid waste by 2022. To support this effort and help keep our city clean, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) places garbage and recycling cans along streets in mixed-use business areas with high pedestrian traffic. To date, we have placed over 800 cans across the city.


Neighborhood Services

Depending on the neighborhood, garbage and recycling cans are serviced 3 to 14 times per week. To find out when cans in your area are serviced, view the neighborhood pickup schedule (pdf). To report overflow, maintenance needs, or other problems with cans in your area, call (206) 615-1700.

If you believe your neighborhood would benefit from a garbage or recycling can, you can determine the eligibility of your location by reviewing our placement criteria for new cans (pdf). Requests can be made by calling (206) 615-1700.


Proper Use of Cans

Public garbage and recycling cans are only for pedestrians and shoppers to use. It is illegal for businesses or residents to dispose of their garbage, recycling, or food and yard waste in public cans.


Related Links

  • Event recycling: information on portable recycling bins at events throughout the city.
  • Report illegal dumping: information on the illegal disposal of junk, garbage, and debris on public property.
  • Find It, Fix It App: a mobile tool to report illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, graffiti, parking enforcement, and road maintenance concerns in Seattle.