The Emerald City takes recycling so seriously that it enacted legislation that makes tossing recyclables in the garbage against the law.

Background

Seattle recyclingRecycling is actually the law in Seattle (pop. 634,535) — a city ordinance bans recyclables like paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminum and tin cans from ending up in the trash. And, unlike many municipal recycling programs, Seattleites enjoy curbside recycling for free on a biweekly basis. Perhaps the above are reasons, coupled with a single-stream curbside program, are why Seattle is such a green-minded city.

Materials recycled

Paper Including paper, paper cartons, flattened cardboard boxes and clean, coated paper. Plastics Including plastic bottles, jars and tubs; plastic trays, cups and containers; and plastic plant pots. Vitamin/pill bottles (not to be confused with cylindrical prescription bottles, which are not recyclable) are accepted. Plastic grocery, newspaper and dry-cleaning bags are accepted (contained in a tied plastic bag). Metals Including aluminum and tin cans, aluminum foil, aluminum pie tins, scrap metal (must be less than 2×2 feet) and lids (3 inches or wider). Glass Glass bottles and jars accepted. Used motor oil Collected at curbside for free. Must be in a 1-gallon plastic jug with a screw-on top. Limit two jugs per collection day.

Frequency

Curbside pick-up occurs on a biweekly basis. A collection calendar is available online. Carts must be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on collection day and must be within 3 feet of the curb.

Other programs

Electronics and bulky items like furniture, appliances and mattresses are collected for recycling for a fee. For an appointment, call 206.684.3000. Tires, scrap metal, vehicle batteries and curbside-accepted materials can be dropped off at one of two stations for recycling. North Station is located at 1350 N. 34th St. South Station is at 8105 5th Ave S. Both locations are open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day; North Station also closed on the 4th of July). Some fees may apply.

More information

Visit the Seattle Public Utilities website for more recycling program info.