CLEAR ALLEY PROGRAM
Seattle Public Utilities is partnering with local waste collection companies and the downtown customers to reduce the storage of waste containers in the public right-of-way. The City of Seattle’s Clear Alleys Program (CAP) aims to:
- Create cleaner, safer business districts
- Reduce the incidence of uncivil behaviors and illegal activities in alleys
- Increase the attractiveness of alleys for pedestrian use
- Allow better alley access for business services (deliveries) and possible expansion of commercial activity
The Director’s Rule (pdf) restricts permanent storage of waste containers in the public right-of-ways of the Downtown, Belltown, Pioneer Square, and Columbia City neighborhoods. This program prohibits dumpsters from being stored in the public right of way. Businesses and buildings must use special pre-paid CAP bags to collect garbage and recyclables. Carts are permissible for glass recycling and compostable. These rules only apply to buildings that do not have indoor storage for solid waste. Learn more here for Downtown, Belltown and Pioneer Square(pdf) or here for International District (pdf).
Learn more about CAP
Visit the City of Seattle website to learn more about CAP. To sign up for bag service or place a bag order, call 206.250.7500.
If your business is located north of Yesler, Recology is your designated garbage provider. Businesses located south of Yesler are serviced by Waste Management. To verify who your provider is, please view this service area map.
Service provider for businesses north of Yesler:
Recology‘s Clear Alleys Program (CAP) replaces dumpsters with a daily bag pickup service, creating cleaner, safer alleys. With CAP you pay by the bag, which means you only pay for what you throw away. To find out if your business is in the designated Clear Alley service zone, view this service area map (PDF).
To set up a Recology account and order CAP bags, please visit Recology’s CAP webpage.
Service provider for businesses South of Yesler:
Waste Management has provided the following materials to assist business owners and property owners for the waste, recycling, and compost needs. For additional information and assistance, please reach out to Waste Management’s Outreach team email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To set up a Waste Management account and order CAP bags, visit Waste Management’s CAP webpage.
Other Waste Management Resources:
- CAP program introduction: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese
- WM Recycling 101 video
- COVID-19 waste disposal video
City of Seattle Tools and Resources
- “Where Does It Go” online tool: https://www.seattle.gov/utilities/your-services/collection-and-disposal/where-does-it-go#/categories
- Guidance for certified compostable bags
- Food Packaging Requirements and Resource Flyer. Available in 18 languages
- The flyer also lists free sticker and poster examples. To order free stickers, posters and container decals from the city, click here to access the order form.
- Straws & Utensils Requirements and Exemptions. Also available in 18 languages
- The EnviroStars Business Recognition program helps guide and recognize businesses who take “green” efforts to become more sustainable. The program provides different marketing benefits for each tier of recognition.