Coordinate with Utilities Before Starting Your Demolition Project

If you are planning a demolition project, you need to coordinate with all utilities providing service to the property. All utilities must be shut off before you start any actual demolition. Shutting off the utilities before demolition helps prevent accident and injury to you, your contractors, or the inspectors. This is particularly important for natural gas, because demolition before a service is capped could lead to a natural gas leak or an explosion.

Contact the Utilities:

You need to coordinate with any private utilities and with:

  • Seattle Public Utilities, (206) 684-3000
  • Seattle City Light, (206) 684-3000
  • Seattle Dept. of Transportation, (206) 684-5283
  • Puget Sound Energy, 1-888-321-7779


Call Before You Dig:

Calling before you dig ensures that any publicly owned underground lines will be marked, so that you can dig around them safely. Having the utility lines marked not only prevents accidental damage to the lines, but prevents property damage and personal injuries that could result in a breaking line. Also, it’s the law and it’s free! Please visit or call 1-800-424-5555 (or 811) for additional information.

You can find more information about demolition rules in Tip 337, Demolition and Deconstruction, or on the demolition permit webpage.


New Requirements for Construction and Demolition Waste

Starting July 1, 2014, all construction and demolition projects will need to comply with new construction and demolition waste requirements before we issue a permit.

Why this is happening? Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and DPD are working together to increase recycling and salvage rates in an effort to achieve the city’s landfill diversion goals. Seattle’s current goal is to divert 70 percent of construction and demolition waste from landfills by the year 2020. Certain materials are easy to either salvage or recycle, so we now ban asphalt paving, brick, concrete, metal, cardboard, and new gypsum scrap from being sent to a landfill for disposal within the city of Seattle. SPU has set up a facility certification program identifying qualified receiving and recycling facilities that comply with the material ban requirement.

To help the City accomplish its waste diversion goal we require that you submit a Waste Diversion Plan with your building permit application for all construction projects with a work area greater than 750 square feet. Developing a plan prior to starting work will help building owners consider:

  • What “waste” materials might be produced from a project
  • Which facilities will manage banned materials appropriately
  • Who is going to take them there

For demolition projects and construction and alteration projects that include demolition, where the area of work is greater than 750 square feet, you are also required to submit a Deconstruction and Salvage Assessment. The assessment indicates which of the materials identified in the plan are potentially salvageable – please refer to the form for directions on who should fill it out. Although we do not require you to salvage materials from your project site, we want you to start thinking about what materials could be salvaged. Don’t forget that whole building relocation is the ultimate salvage solution!

You also need to submit a Waste Diversion Report to SPU within 60 days of the final inspection approval. The report does not have to match your plan since not everything can be anticipated prior to construction. However, the report should show:

  • What materials were actually produced during demolition
  • The quantity of each material
  • How you diverted the material
  • The identities of the hauler and receiving location

These requirements have been in effect since the 2012 Seattle Building Code was adopted in late December 2013. Starting July 1, 2014, we will begin enforcing the requirement on all construction and demolition projects before we issue your permits. If you do not submit a Deconstruction Salvage Assessment and/or the Waste Diversion Plan when you apply for a building permit application, you can email these forms at any time during the review process to

We understand that this is a change for our permit applicants and that there may be questions concerning the new requirements. Please submit questions about the general permit process to the DPD online Q & A, (under “Topic” select: General Permitting).  For technical questions about the Deconstruction Salvage Assessment and/or the Waste Diversion Plan, please submit questions to Seattle Public Utilities at