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Public Can Dump Trash for Free

Waste Management penalty fees to be returned to customers as billing adjustments.

Mayor Mike McGinn has directed Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to open the city’s garbage transfer stations, at no charge, to single-family residents whose garbage, recycling and food/yard waste has not been collected by Waste Management as the result of the week-long strike by Teamsters Union drivers.

“We will be rigorously inspecting Waste Management’s work and fining them for every violation,” McGinn said. “We understand that this disruption of service has real consequences for businesses and people, so we will not be charging those who bring their waste to a transfer station. Every penny that we collect from Waste Management in fines will be returned to our customers as reductions to their bill.”

Starting tomorrow (Aug. 1), single-family residents in Waste Management’s service areas may drop off up to six bags of garbage and yard waste for free at the South and North transfer stations, which operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week. Customers should bring appropriate identification — for example, a driver’s license or a utility bill — to demonstrate they are City of Seattle residents.

Recycling drop-off is always free.

SPU is asking Wednesday customers to put garbage, yard waste and recycling out before 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Carts should be left out until 6 p.m. Thursday night, August 2, for possible collection and recording for fines — up to $1.25 million a day — to be issued to Waste Management.

Mayor McGinn also directed SPU to return any collected penalties to its customers, in the form of adjustments to their solid waste bills. Details of that arrangement are being developed by SPU.

The Mayor emphasized that the city’s top priority is safeguarding public health and safety, and he urged the company and the union to get back to the bargaining table immediately to get their differences resolved and the garbage picked up.

SPU operates two transfer stations:

  • The North Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 1350 North 34th Street in the Fremont/Wallingford area.
  • The South Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 8105 5th Avenue South in the South Park area.

Both stations are open daily 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Customers who want to avoid lines should drop  off items before 2 p.m. Customers can also check to see if there are lines with SPU’s station web cams: