Seattle Parks and Recreation makes composting available at all facilities

Supporting a healthy environment is one of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s fundamental goals. We have done much over the years to support that – from the Paper Cuts initiative in the early 2000s to the LEED facilities that we build to our most recent Good Food initiative.

As of July 1, Seattle Parks and Recreation facility patrons and employees are be able to recycle food waste at every community center, pool, environmental learning center, crew quarters and office space that the department owns or operates.

This is a major milestone. By taking this step, we’re joining an effort that has already seen great successes.

The City of Seattle is a national leader in composting. Earlier this year Mayor Murray announced that the City is on track to recycle 19,000 additional tons of organic material. That’s the equivalent of 380 rail cars of waste diverted from a landfill. The City’s ultimate goal is to divert an additional 38,000 tons of compost per year.

And now Seattle Parks and Recreation will be a part of that.

We’ve had a food waste recycling committee of 20 employees working on this project for months. These dedicated Parks and Recreation employees have volunteered their time to helping figure out how to implement the program on such a large scale.

Seattle residents may already be accustomed to composting at home. Whether you’re a veteran composter or totally new to the concept, you may have a lot of questions about how this effort will take place and how to participate. You can learn more about successful composting in these Food Waste Recycling Guidelines.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is excited to be a part of the composting movement. This is an important step to take toward creating a more sustainable future.


Recycling/Reuse Requirements for Construction and Demolition Waste

SPU is testing, certifying, and publicly posting a list of the facilities handling materials correctly.  This way you can easily choose places in compliance with the material bans, which will ensure you are in compliance.

You can increase your chances of successfully recycling or reusing materials by thinking ahead about how much sorting space your site can handle, the various materials that might be produced from your project, and where you might take them. This planning will also reduce the unexpected inconvenience of being turned away from a facility that no longer accepts banned materials. This is why DPD now requires all projects with a work area greater than 750 square feet to provide a waste diversion plan with the permit application. This plan provides a list of certified facilities where you can take your assumed materials, and helps identify who might do the hauling.

If your 750-square-foot project involves demolition of some sort, you’ll also need to submit a deconstruction and salvage assessment. The assessment looks more closely at which of the materials identified on the waste diversion plan could possibly be salvaged. Perhaps the local salvage retailer will purchase a stack of 2x4s…or maybe a neighbor wants to install your unwanted kitchen cabinets in their garage.

Once your project has received final inspection approval, you have 60 days to submit a waste diversion report to SPU identifying the weight of each material produced by the project, where they were taken, and who actually did the hauling.

DPD will post revisions of the following Tips in January. They will provide information on these new construction and demolition waste requirements.

The following bullets highlight the information that will be provided in specific Tips:

  • All Tips provide basic DPD submittal requirements associated with the material requirements.
  • Tips 303, 316, and 337 will provide some background on Seattle’s landfill bans and facility certification for those businesses in compliance.
  • Tip 303 will provide examples of a completed waste diversion plan and deconstruction and salvage assessment.
  • All Tips, except Tip 309, will provide directions on how to submit the waste diversion report to SPU once construction is complete.
  • Tip 337 will provide additional information on salvaged material: where you can take it, who the local salvage retailers are, and other helpful resources.

Additional revisions made to these Tips clarify existing permit processes and update some process areas where the DPD Project Portal is now available for use.

For more information about the waste recycling and reuse requirements, contact:

Kathleen Petrie
(206) 615-0541

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