Business & Commercial Recycling

A wide variety of materials from businesses can be recycled and reprocessed, such as scrap metals, building materials, office furniture, business electronics and phones, in addition to conventional recyclables like cardboard, glass, paper, plastic, and compostables.

 

Free and private recycling services

The Green Business Program, a free resource provided by Seattle Public Utilities, provides recycling and conservation assistance to all Seattle businesses. You can also request recycling service from any private recycling company, many of which will collect recyclable materials in a comingled all-in-one collection container. For more information or for referrals to private providers, contact the Green Business Program at (206) 343-8505 or greenbusiness@seattle.gov.

 

Self-haul recycling

If your business doesn't need regular recycling service, you can take accepted materials to one of Seattle's two transfer stations. There is no charge for recycling traditional items like glass, metal and plastic. The transfer stations also recycle building materials, vehicle batteries, used motor oil, and tires, but fees may apply.

 

Know the law

Seattle city ordinance requires that recyclable materials, compostable materials, and yard debris be kept out of garbage. Garbage containers filled with more than 10 percent of recyclables and compostables will be tagged. After two warnings (pdf), businesses will be charged $50 for each violation. Learn more about the ordinance.

If your building is in Belltown, Downtown, or Pioneer Square, your solid waste containers may not be stored in the public right-of-way. Learn about the City's Clear Alleys Program.

 

Reusing materials is better than recycling

Even better than recycling is reuse, such as using building materials and architectural pieces that have been salvaged from construction and remodeling projects. Online exchanges can help your business find items you need or an eager buyer for your surplus goods.

Commercial Compost Collection costs less than regular garbage pickup. It diverts yard debris and food scraps from the landfill by turning them into compost for local parks and gardens.

Often, valuable materials can be recovered even from wastes that are hazardous, such as mercury-containing fluorescent tubes. For help on recycling and safe disposal of hazardous waste, call the Business Waste Line (206) 296-3976.

 

Limited-service cart recycling

If you have a City of Seattle commercial garbage account, you are eligible for free cart recycling service. The service is limited to two (2) recycling carts that are collected every other week. For more information, contact your garbage provider:

 

Related links

At Seattle Public Utilities (SPU):

Commercial garbage
Transfer stations
Sample notice of violation (pdf) used when a significant amount of recyclables are found in a business' garbage
Recycling & composting guidelines poster (pdf)

At SPU's partners:

Recology - commercial recycling and compost collection services for businesses throughout the city of Seattle
Waste Management - commercial recycling and compost collection services for businesses throughout the city of Seattle
Republic Services - commercial recycling and compost collection services for businesses throughout the city of Seattle
Cedar Grove Organics Recycling, LLC - a local compost collection company and a processor of organic compostable materials
Industrial Materials Exchange (IMEX) - online market of industrial by-products, surplus materials and wastes, run by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County
Local Hazardous Waste Management Program - help on recycling and safe disposal of hazardous wastes
Second Use - a South Seattle retail store with vintage architectural pieces and salvaged building materials
The Reuse - in Ballard for salvaged cabinets, doors, windows, plumbing and lighting fixtures and flooring
Earthwise - in South Seattle for reusable building materials and architectural features