Unsheltered Services

SPU’s Unsheltered Services focuses on serving the unsheltered community with programs that prioritize public health and minimize the environmental impacts of RV and tent encampment living. Our RV Remediation and Encampment Trash Programs provide essential services that support the removal of garbage, debris, and spills generated by RV and tent encampments citywide. Program benefits include educating encampment residents on proper waste disposal, fostering sanitary living conditions, and promoting environmental sustainability.

SPU employee examining an encampment.

For more information on the City’s response to the homelessness crisis, visit the One Seattle Homelessness Action Plan

Encampment Trash Program 

The Encampment Trash Program (ETP), also referred to as the Purple Bag Program, provides weekly garbage service (collection and disposal) to nearly 30 encampments. The goal is to improve encampment conditions and minimize public health and safety hazards by reducing community trash.  

SPU employee with purple bag at door of RV.

If you have any concerns about trash at an encampment or RV and wish to report it, you can use the Find It, Fix It App.  

2023 Year-to-date data:  
(Last update December)

584K Lbs Collected

9,521 bags distributed

Report Illegal Dumping

Report illegal dumping of junk, garbage, or debris left on public property, including roadsides, open streets, and paved alleys.

Report Pollution 

Report surface water pollution like leaking cars, concrete dumped on the street, or paint poured down a drain.

RV Remediation

The RV Remediation Program addresses the public health and safety impacts of trash and debris produced by recreational vehicles (RVs) and other lived-in vehicles occupying the public right-of-way. These efforts are implemented by SPU and performed in collaboration with Seattle’s Unified Care Team (UCT), an interdepartmental team working to ensure Seattle’s public spaces, sidewalks, and streets remain clean and accessible to all.

Program objectives include improving public access to the right-of-way, protecting environmental health by preventing trash, debris, and pollutants from entering our waterways, minimizing public health and safety hazards associated with RV camping, and providing a clean space to our neighbors.

2023 Year-to-date data:  
(Last update December)  

86 RV Remediations Completed

609K Lbs Collected

Geo Clean

To address growing community concerns associated with public health and safety risks involving clusters of RVs, SPU conducts Geo Cleans to provide a swift and consistent response to manage ongoing trash and debris from RVs throughout City neighborhoods. The Geo Clean sites identified for trash routes are addressed weekly.

SPU employee taking a photo with phone of debris on sidewalk next to an RV.

Geo Clean objectives include improving access to the right-of-way and minimizing public health and safety hazards associated with RV camping.

2023 Year-to-date data:  
(Last update December)

698K Lbs Collected

If you have any concerns regarding encampment or RV trash, you can report it through the Find It, Fix It App.

Help us keep Seattle safe and clean by reporting illegal dumping, pollution, and graffiti. You can also learn more about preventing and removing graffiti, collection of sharps, public litter cans, and keeping alleys clear of collection containers  

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
SPUCustomerService@seattle.gov

Newsletter Updates

Subscribe

Sign up for the latest updates from Public Utilities

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.