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New Seattle Recycling Rules Coming on Line

The following information is provided by the City of Seattle. More information is available at or contact Gabriella Uhlar-Heffner at 386-9772 or Shirli Axelrod at 684-7804.

The City of Seattle has adopted new requirements for recycling construction and building materials. Around 62% of construction and demolition (C&D) waste was recycled from Seattle projects in 2011 and another 3% was “beneficially used” as industrial boiler fuel. The Seattle City Council has adopted a goal for recycling 70% of construction waste Citywide by 2020. To reach this goal Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will

• Roll out additional landfill disposal bans on readily recyclable C&D materials

• Certify that C&D recycling facilities are in compliance with the disposal bans

• Require building permit holders for each new construction remodeling and demolition project to file a waste diversion report

Phased landfill Disposal Bans

Seattle Ordinances 123553 and 124076 adopted in 2011 and 2012 respectively prohibit the landfill disposal and require the recycling of the following:

• Asphalt Paving Bricks and Concrete (as of January 2012)

• Metal Cardboard Carpet Plastic Film Wrap New Construction Gypsum Scrap (as of January 2014)

• Clean Wood and Tear-Off Asphalt Shingles (as of January 2015)

Exceptions to these disposal bans include materials which are painted have hazardous constituents are difficult to separate from others or those present in only very small quantities.

Processing Facility Certification

SPU is developing a facility certification program to identify which receiving and processing facilities are in compliance with these landfill disposal bans. Criteria and standards will be set up in 2013 through a stakeholder process and administrative rulemaking. Criteria will include a facility’s permitting status quarterly reporting to the City on inbound and outbound tonnages and periodic testing of the residual from sorting and processing. “Alternative daily cover” and “industrial waste stabilizer” placed in a landfill will be classified as disposal. An initial list of certified facilities is to be published by January 1 2014.

Waste Diversion Reporting

Starting January 1 2014 all construction remodeling and demolition projects required to obtain a Seattle Building Permit will need to submit an electronic Waste Diversion Report to the City’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) within 60 days of project Final Inspection. This report will document the destination and tonnage of materials delivered for reuse (on or off site) recycling beneficial use and disposal. Choosing certified processing facilities will be the easiest path to showing compliance with the City’s disposal bans. SPU will conduct periodic audits of these reports and starting in 2015 may assess civil penalties for failing to report or for landfilling banned materials.

Seattle DPD Revisions to Seattle Building Code

In addition Seattle is also proposing Building Code revisions pertaining to salvage and recycling to be effective January 1 2014. These include requiring a Waste Diversion Plan for all projects over 750 square feet and a salvage assessment prior to full or partial demolitions.


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