Common Containers at Your Building

In Seattle, all homes, buildings, and businesses must dispose of recyclables, food waste, and garbage in separate containers. Buildings may have chutes on each floor, containers at the parking lot or garage, or a combination of chutes and containers.

Make sure you know where to dispose of recyclables, food waste, and garbage at your building. If you aren't sure, ask the property manager about it. If you believe your building doesn't have a container to collect recyclables or food waste and your property manager is unable to help, you can use this form to request containers.

Remember, food waste, yard waste, and recyclable are not allowed in the garbage (SMC 21.36.082-083). If you have questions about what belongs in each container, check out our Where Does It Go? tool.

Photo of three solid waste containers

Photo interior waste chutes

You can help improve your building's sorting by:

  • Making sure each container has a large labeling sticker, a sorting poster nearby, and that the containers are color-coded (food waste is green, recycle is blue, and garbage is gray).

Graphic of collection containers and posters

  • If these stickers and posters are not there, let your management know that they can order free signage.
  • If you see waste issues at your building (for example, that a compostable bag wasn't installed in your food waste cart), let your management know about it and point them to our troubleshooting resources.


Still Having Issues?

If your building still has challenges sorting waste, management, staff, or residents can contact us at or by leaving a voice message at (206) 684-8717. We visit buildings to review the waste system and provide tools such as food scrap 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

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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.