Frequently Asked Questions


What is/isn't recyclable?


For a summary of common recyclable and non-recyclable items, see the "How It Works" section of the site.  For information on recycling other miscellaneous items, check out the "Solutions" section of the site or use Seattle Public Utilities' "Look It Up" feature.


Where do I put my recyclable materials?


SPU supplies individual recycle bins for every dorm room and office space on campus as well as a number of large recycle containers in common locations.  For more information, see the "How It Works" section. 


What do I do with confidential recyclables?


Box, seal, and label the items as "confidential recycle."  Confidential recycle is picked up on a monthly schedule.  If you need your items picked up sooner, let us know.


What is the City of Seattle's current recycling legislation?


City of Seattle Ordinance #121372, effective January 1, 2005, prohibits residential and commercial customers from disposing of certain recyclable materials as garbage.  Businesses are banned from putting significant amounts of paper, cardboard, or yard waste in the trash, and residential customers may no longer put significant amounts of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic bottles, and aluminum or tin cans in the garbage. 


The ordinance defines a "significant amount" as more than 10% recyclable materials by volume when visually inspected by a Seattle Public Utilities inspector, contractor, or transfer station worker.  Violaters are allowed two warnings before $50 citations are issued for each infraction.