Help Residents Recycle and Compost

How to Train Residents

  1. The best time to train residents on how to sort correctly is during move-in. For best results, talk to residents in person and physically show them the containers used for recycle, compost, and garbage.
  2. Use this sample letter to residents (pdf) to notify them by writing about where the recycle and compost collection areas are located in the building.
  3. Make sure that each unit has a container to collect recyclables and a food waste scrap container. You can request stickers for the recycle bin and food waste scrap containers below.
  4. Include the sorting guidelines in the move-in package. Request free sorting guidelines in different languages below.
  5. Encourage residents to watch these Where Does it Go? videos to see where Seattle's recyclables, food and yard waste, and garbage go.

Screenshot of Where Does It Go flyer: colorful graphic showing what waste goes where, green for food & compost, blue for recycling, black for garbage, and teal for reuse. Photos of example items are included for each category, along with additional instructions.

Where Does It Go? Flyer: Sorting guidelines for recycle, compost, and garbage (8.5" x 14" pdf) 
English WDIG | Amharic WDIGChinese WDIG | Oromo WDIG | Somali WDIGSpanish WDIG | Tigrinya WDIG | Vietnamese WDIG 

How to Set Up Containers for Success

  1. Label each container with stickers and post sorting poster near each container. Request free stickers and sorting posters (available in different languages) below.
  2. To reduce contamination, place the containers so the first one the residents will encounter as they approach them is the garbage, then the recycle, and finally the compost.
Screenshot of compost cart label
Screenshot of recycling cart label
Screenshot of garbage cart label

Screenshot of container sorting graphic


Informational Materials for Display

Order online

Help residents sort correctly by ordering free materials, such as flyers, posters, and labels. Many items are available in multiple languages (examples below). Your order will be delivered within 2 weeks.

These materials are only for Seattle residents in apartment, condominium buildings, and other multifamily housing. Businesses, such as office buildings or food services, should order materials from our commercial/business customer site.

Download print materials

Don't want to wait for an order? Download these posters and flyers:


Still Having Issues?

Look up answers in the Where Does it Go? Tool.

Contact us by email or leave us a voice message at (206) 684-8717.


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.