Litter Abatement Program (LAP)

Discover how we have been combating litter since 2016. Our Litter Abatement Program (LAP) originated as a pilot initiative, joining forces with local community groups, businesses, and residents to tackle litter issues head-on.

Beginning with a focus on four underserved communities in 2017, LAP evolved into a citywide program by 2019, boasting eight dedicated routes with increased funding. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic peak, LAP expanded its reach by establishing ten additional routes, furthering our commitment to keeping Seattle clean and healthy.

LAP offers essential services, including cleaning litter, illegal dumping, and hazardous sharps from streets and sidewalks. We also address overflowing litter cans and remove bulky items like furniture and abandoned appliances from neighborhood sidewalks.

Additionally, our outreach and education efforts ensure that businesses and residents know how to manage waste responsibly, from food disposal to recycling and maintaining clean public spaces.

Litter abatement program workers cleaning up litter.

In partnership with S. Elmgrove LLC, our contracted service provider, LAP has been incredibly effective. As of December 2023, we've operated 51 routes and successfully removed a staggering 1,972,836 pounds of illegal dumping and litter from public areas.

Explore the Seattle Clean City Community Impact Report for comprehensive insights into our community's 2023 impact. Together, we are making Seattle a cleaner, healthier city for all.

Historical Funding

Our team has adeptly responded to the city's evolving needs through sustained investment, enhancing litter removal efforts across Seattle's streets and green spaces. 

Graph showing General Funding of Litter Abatement Program over 5 years: 2017: $49,978; 2018: $395,107; 2019: $660,786; 2020: $845,289; 2021: $1,844,55; 2022: $1,266,78; 2023: $1,972,83.

Active Routes

We currently operate 26 routes in Seattle. Explore the Litter Abatement Route in your neighborhood:

SPU Litter Abatement Program Routes (

LAP Challenges

  • Lack of Awareness: Property and business owners may not realize their responsibility to maintain cleanliness around their properties, including sidewalks and alleys. Additionally, it's illegal to sweep or use leaf blowers to push litter, garbage, or yard debris into the streets.
  • Opportunistic Illegal Dumping: Some individuals exploit proactive cleaning routes by dumping items they know will be picked up by contractors. This includes businesses without Solid Waste services, residents with excess garbage, and contractors or junk haulers.
  • High-Traffic Areas: Heavily used commuter and pedestrian routes witness daily littering, including paper waste, food packaging, beverage containers, and cigarette butts. Dog walkers may leave pet waste bags on sidewalks or misuse residential waste containers, and overflowing bus stops exacerbate the issue. All these small instances of littering accumulate over time.

Help us keep Seattle clean and healthy! Properly dispose of your trash in the designated Public Litter and Recycling Cans across the city. If you have any concerns regarding litter, illegal dumping, or trash, you can report them through the Find It, Fix It app.

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.