Food & Yard (Compost) Services

Food scraps, yard waste, and food-soiled paper (including paper towels, paper napkins, pizza boxes) are not allowed in the garbage. These items go in the food and yard waste (compost) cart.

Compost carts are normally collected weekly. Carts used to collect food waste in apartments and condos should have a compostable liner bag that the driver installs every week. There is no additional cost for the compostable liner bag. If the liner bag was not installed by the driver, please report it. Carts used primarily for yard waste do not need a compostable liner bag.

We recommend specific replacement bag sizes for indoor containers (pdf).


Compost service options

There are two options for food and yard waste service at multi-family properties.


The cart must be pushed to the designated site by 7:00 a.m. on day of pickup or be located within three feet of the curb or in the alley. This option is recommended for buildings that have on-site maintenance staff that can move the cart from inside the property to the curb and back every week.


The driver will drive or walk to the cart and empty it. The driver will also unlock the cart as needed. This option is recommended for buildings that do not have on-site maintenance staff.

Regardless of which type of service you choose, it is recommended that the compost cart is not permanently located at the curb or in an alley, as people passing by may put garbage in the container.


How many carts do we need?

Apartments and condos should have 2 gallons per week of cart space per dwelling unit.

Example 1:

  • A 15-unit property should have close to 30 gallons/week.
  • That property could have one 32-gallon cart picked up once a week.

Example 2:

  • A 100-unit property should have close to 200 gallons/week.
  • They could have two 96-gallon carts picked up once a week.

Also view information about how many containers are needed for garbage and recycling.


How much will it cost?

For current Multi Family rates, visit multi family food & yard rates

Additional notes:

  • 64-gallon carts are only available for "On-Site" service.
  • On-site customers can request additional pickups at additional cost.
  • Carts with food and yard waste can be heavy and are best serviced on a level surface area.
  • Use caution when pushing heavy compost carts to the street curb.
  • All apartment and condo carts used to collect food waste should have a compostable liner bag that the driver installs every week at no additional cost.
  • Report a missed collection (or a missing liner in compost cart).
  • For multi-family service requests or complaints (missed collection, changes in service, etc.), call (206) 684-3000.


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.