Recycling News

Volunteer to Increase Recycling

**Become a Friend of Recycling **

As a Friend of Recycling (FOR), you will:

  • Educate others about how to recycle and cut down their garbage.
  • Monitor the recycling bins at your apartment building.
  • Answer questions about recycling.

Anyone who has time or interest, including families and other groups, can sign up. This program only applies to buildings with five or more units. Volunteers will watch a video about recycling and sign a pledge to become a FOR.

To sign up, call the FOR Volunteer Coordinator at (206) 684-8717.

Too Much Apartment Recycling

If you have too much recycling to fit in your recycling dumpster or container:

  • Put the extra in paper grocery bags or small cardboard boxes
  • Set them next to your recycling containers
  • To keep the area clear for other residents and your collector, do not set extra recycling on top of, or leaning against the container
  • If your recycling often fills up before collection, the building owner or manager can call SPU Solid Waste Customer Service at (206) 684-7665 to increase the size of your container or the frequency of collection

New recycling rules

Beginning January 1, 2005, City of Seattle Ordinance 121372 prohibits recyclable paper, cardboard, glass and plastic bottles, and aluminum and tin cans in garbage containers (this includes cans, detachable containers and drop boxes). Food-soiled paper is not recyclable. The City will conduct random visual inspections, and if significant amounts of recyclables are found dumped in the garbage, notices on proper recycling methods will be provided.

After January 1, 2006, up to two warning notices and educational materials will be provided at apartments and condominiums before an additional collection charge of $50 to the garbage account holder is levied.

Disposable Bag Green Fee

To encourage shoppers to switch to reusable bags and cut down on waste, the City of Seattle passed a 20-cent green fee on disposable shopping bags, both paper and plastic.

  • The fee will begin Jan. 1, 2009. It will be charged at grocery, drug and convenience stores — the source of almost 75 percent of all bags. This will save 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas per year, that’s the same as taking 665 cars off the road
  • The fee will not apply to bags used inside stores to contain bulk items; bags for prepared food, such as deli or bakery goods; newspapers; and dry-cleaner bags
  • Merchants will retain 5 cents per bag for taxes and administrative costs. Businesses that gross less than $1 million will keep the entire 20-cent fee.
  • City revenue — 15 cents per bag — will be used for waste prevention, recycling, city cleanup and environmental education programs.
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