Setting Out Waste for Collection

Here's how to put your waste, including extra garbage, yard waste, and recycling, out for collection to ensure we can pick it up.

For your regular weekly cart pickup, follow these quick tips:

  • Make sure carts are out by 7:00 a.m. on your collection day.
  • Place carts so lids open towards the street or alley.
  • Do not block sidewalks, mailboxes, or others' driveways.
  • Remove carts as soon as possible after collection.

If you cannot get your garbage to the curb or alley for collection, learn more about our backyard pickup service for help.

Setting out extra garbage, yard waste, and recycling

You can set out extra garbage, yard waste (compost), and recycling with your carts on collection day and we'll pick it up. There are fees for picking up extra garbage and extra yard waste. There is no fee for extra recycling which, like basic recycling service, is included in the garbage service rates.

Remember to put your address on extra waste. If your carts are clustered with other households, such as in townhomes, make sure to label extra bags or other containers with your address. This is so we can bill correctly for the extra collection.

Graphic showing how to set out extra garbage

Setting out extra garbage

Put your extra garbage next to your garbage cart on collection day. The maximum weight for each extra item is 60 lbs.

Extra garbage is charged by the unit. A unit of extra garbage can be:

  • A 32 gallon garbage can.
  • An individual large plastic bag.
  • A cart that is too full to close the lid.
Graphic showing how to set out extra yard

Setting out extra yard waste

Put your extra yard waste next to your food & yard waste (compost) cart on collection day.

No food waste is allowed in extra yard waste. Extra yard waste is charged by the unit. A unit of extra yard waste can be:

  • A 32 gallon garbage can.
  • An individual, large, kraft brown paper bag or a green or brown colored, approved, compostable bag labeled “Compostable”.
  • A bundle tied with fiber twine up to 4 feet long and 2 feet in diameter.
  • A cart that is too full to close the lid.

Graphic showing how to set out extra recycling

Setting out extra recycling

Put your extra recycling next to your recycling cart on your collection day. There is no additional charge for extra recycling, but there is a limit of 1 extra "unit" of Recycling per collection day.

A "unit" is considered an amount of similar size to a 96 gallons cart (this is the same as your Recycle cart). If you have excess recycling, you can put it out on your next collection day, or can drop it off at the Transfer Stations for free.

Please set out extra recycling for easy collection by your driver by following these tips: 

  • Cardboard boxes must be flattened and broken down to be smaller than 4 by 4 feet.
  • Remove all plastic wrap and foam.
  • Put it in a cardboard box, paper bag, or personal can.
  • Do not overfill your cart.


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.