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Everything you need to know about disposing of holiday waste

Seattle Public Utilities has lots of friendly reminders about how to dispose of garbage, recycling and yard waste this time of year.

  1. There’s no solid waste collection on Christmas Day. Customers whose normal pickup days are Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, will have their waste collected one day later than normal next week. The city’s Recycling and Disposal stations will be closed on Christmas Day as well.
  2. Customers who subscribe to yard waste pickup can put out their Christmas tree and other greens for no extra charge from Dec. 26 through Jan. 12. (Multi-family buildings can put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge.) Trees should be cut into sections no longer than six feet, with branches trimmed to less than four feet. Sections should be bundled with string or non-plastic twine. Metal, plastic and ornaments must be removed. Trees with flocking, tinsel or ornaments will be collected as extra garbage. (Those trees need to be cut into three-foot pieces and each piece will be charged as extra garbage. Each unit of extra garbage costs $10.20.) Regular residential food and yard waste collection rates resume on Monday, Jan. 13; the fee for extra yard waste is $4.90 per unit.
  3. Customers can drop off holiday trees and greens for free at Seattle Public Utilities’ North and South Recycling and Disposal stations from Dec. 26 through Jan. 12. Tree sections must be eight feet or less in length and the trunk must be four inches or smaller in diameter. Limit of three trees per vehicle. The North Recycling and Disposal Station is at 1350 N. 34th St. It’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except holidays.
  4. Household hazardous waste: Fluorescent bulbs and tubes, Ni-Cad and Lithium rechargeable and other batteries can be disposed of for free at Seattle’s Household Hazardous waste stations. The nearest one to our neighborhood is at 12550 Stone Ave. N. (one block east of Aurora Avenue). Incandescent light bulbs, regular Christmas lights and alkaline batteries (such as AA, AAA, C and D) can go in the garbage, however, some places will recycle them.
  5. You can always put out extra recycling for free. Put it in sturdy boxes or 32-gallon cans next to your recycling cart on your regular collection day.
  6. Recycling do’s and don’ts:
  • Styrofoam packaging can’t be recycled. Many local mail houses accept packing peanuts for reuse; Styro Recycle in Renton will accept styrofoam for recycling. Otherwise, Styrofoam and packing peanuts go in the garbage (but put peanuts in a bag first so they don’t scatter).
  • Flattened cardboard goes in your recycling cart. If it doesn’t fit, put it next to your cart.
  • Ribbons and bows go in the garbage.
  • Gift wrap goes in the recycling. (Don’t burn it; it’s toxic.)
  • Greeting cards, catalogs and envelopes go in the recycling bin, even if they have plastic windows or staples.
  • Electronics can’t be recycled or put in the garbage because they contain hazardous materials. Go to www.ecyclewashington.org or www.takeitbacknetwork.org for locations to drop off your old TVs, monitors and computers.

If you’re not sure what can be recycled or where to do it, you can look it up on this website.