Types of Collection Trucks

Seattle Public Utilities' collection contractors, Waste Management and Recology, own and operate the fleet of vehicles that service garbage, recycle, and compost customers. There are several truck models, each used to service different customers. For vehicle weights, lengths, wheel-bases, and more, view detailed specifications (PDF).

Front load trucks

Front load trucks service both commercial and residential customers. These trucks can service the heaviest dumpsters as well as the lighter and smaller plastic carts found at Seattle homes and apartments. They require 24 feet of overhead clearance to service.

Photo of front load truck

Rear load trucks

Rear load trucks service dumpsters under 2 cubic yards in size (and that do not contain compacted materials), as well as plastic carts. They require 14 feet of overhead clearance to service.

Photo of rear load Recology truck

Side load trucks

Side load trucks service carts on certain residential routes only. They require 14 feet of overhead clearance to service.

Photo of side load truck

Roll-off trucks

Roll-off trucks service the larger metal containers typically used in large commercial, multi-family, and mixed-use buildings. They require 14 feet of overhead clearance to service. The truck backs up to a container, lifts it onto the bed of the truck, and drives the container to the transfer station or recycle facility to dump the materials. The driver then returns the container to the property.

Graphic of roll-off truck


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.