Solid Waste Collection Delays FAQs (Late December 2021-Early January 2022)

In late December 2021, Seattle experienced collection delays for most residential customers due to snow and ice. These delays can make it difficult to know when your next collection is going to be, and we have answers!  

  • Question: What should I do if my collection was missed last week (12/27/21-1/1/22)?  
  • Answer: Residential customers are permitted to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling, and compost this week for no additional charge. This includes recycling collection, even if it’s not your typical week for collection. Contractors will attempt to collect this ‘off-week’ recycling, if possible, but may not be able to collect all. Customers can call 206-684-3000 for additional support if needed. 
  • Question: If roads have been cleared of ice and snow, why are we still experiencing a delay in garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste collections? 
  • Answer: Delays this week are mostly due in part to continued icy roads at the beginning of the week. This created a 1-day delay for reminder of week in many parts of the city, especially in NW and South Seattle as described above. 
  • Question: I was supposed to have my collection service today, but it doesn’t seem to have happened. What should I do?   
  • Answer: If your collection wasn’t picked up on your typical day this week, leave it out for an additional day as some of our haulers will need an additional day to get all extra materials set out this week. In some parts of Seattle, NW Seattle (west of I5, north of ship canal) and South Seattle (south of I90), collections will be delayed by 1 day this week (1/3/22-1/8/22)
  • Question: What should I do if my collections were missed last week (12/27/21-1/1/22) and also missed this week (1/3/22-1/8/22)?  
  • Answer: Customers whose collection services were missed both last week & this week can set out triple the waste on their next collection day OR take garbage, recycling & yard/food waste to one of our transfer stations at no charge through January 9. If dropping off at a Transfer Station, be sure to let staff know that you’ve been missed two times consecutively. We ask that ONLY customers who have been missed twice utilize this offer as to not overwhelm our Transfer Station staff. 
  • Question: If my recycling week was normally last week (12/27/21-1/1/22) and I was missed, can I set out recycling this week (1/3/22 – 1/8/22)? 
  • Answer: Even though it’s not your typical week for collection, you can set out recycling if you were missed and there’s a chance drivers will service. If your recycling is not picked up on your off week (1/3/22 – 1/8/22) you can set out triple extras on your normal collection day. Customers can also take recycling to either of our Transfer Stations to drop off, free of charge (a service available all year). 
  • Question: If I have extra recycling, garbage, and compost due to missed collections, how do I set it out for collection?  
  • Answer: Extra garbage can be set out in plastic bags or a personal can. Extra recycling can go out in a cardboard box or paper bag (NEVER in a plastic bag). Extra yard waste shouldn’t contain food waste and can go in a personal can or paper bag. See more information on our website. 
  • Question: If customers are now two days past their collection date, are they definitely out of luck for being collected this week (1/3/22-1/8/22) and should bring their carts back in?
  • Answer: Missed customers not collected by the ‘following day’, the day after their regular collection day, should bring their carts in and set-out triple volumes next week. Or, since they were missed twice, last week and this week, they can also take waste to the SPU Transfer Stations for no charge.
  • Question: Why can’t I set out extra food waste if my food/yard waste collection was missed last week?  
  • Answer: Food waste is not permitted in customer’s extra collection services to minimize attracting pests. Please prioritize space in your green cart for food waste and put yard waste in bags or your personal can. 
  • Question: If I do have extra food waste and my food & yard waste container is full, what should I do with it?  
  • Answer: Any excess food waste that cannot fit in your food and yard waste container this week should be frozen and then added to your food and yard waste cart after it has been collected.  
  • Question: If I was missed this week and last week will I see an adjustment in my bill? 
  • Answer: There will not be any billing adjustments for customers that were missed as their collections will be recovered, just on a delayed schedule.  
  • Question: If I set my extra recycling out and it was not collected and got wet, what should I do with it?   
  • Answer:  While ideally your recycling would be empty, clean, and dry, if it does get wet from being left out in the rain, you can still leave it out for recycling collection. 
  • Question: If I have a lot of extra recycling, what can I do with it? 
  • Answer: Extra recycling can be dropped off to either of our Transfer Stations for free, anytime.  
  • Question: What should I do with my Christmas tree and holiday greenery? Should I leave it out for another week? 
  • Answer: Holiday greens and trees can be left out for free extra yard waste collection throughout the month of January. If leaving out for collection, cut trees into lengths of 4 feet or less, make sure all lights, tinsel, and other decorations are removed, and set out no more than 2 trees or bundled greens per pickup day. These can also be dropped off to either Transfer Station for free throughout the month of January. Stations will accept up to three trees per vehicle. Trees for drop-off must be 8 feet or less with no decorations.  

Do you have more questions you’d like to see added to this list? Leave a comment below and we’ll work on getting you an answer.