Despite our city's recycling efforts, Seattle still throws away a lot. Our landfills contain paper that's only used on one side, food that could be composted, doors and windows that could be re-used, and extra packaging. If you'd like to reduce your garbage, these tips can help.

1. Why Waste a Good Thing?

  • Before throwing something in the trash, consider if you can recycle or compost it. Even food scraps and yard waste can find a second life as compost.

    Download a list of what you can recycle and compost (
2. Use Durable (Not Disposable) Items

  • Coffee cups, water bottles, and grocery bags

  • Plates, cups, bowls, flatware and napkins

  • Cloth towels (instead of paper towels)
3. Reduce Packaging

  • Buy items with minimal packaging. When packaging is needed, choose reusable, recyclable or compostable.

  • Avoid single-servings and buy in bulk

  • Buy local produce and drink tap water
4.Use Less Paper

5. Buy, Sell or Donate Used Clothing, Appliances, Building Materials and Furniture

  • Sell items you no longer want and find bargains at consignment shops, garage sales, thrift stores, online exchanges and auctions like eBay and Craig's List. You can also check out these options for used buying items, which reduces waste and saves money!

  • Buy salvaged building materials and architectural pieces.

  • Many organizations can use items you no longer want. Do you have materials for sewing or art projects? Old towels, blankets, or sheets for pet shelters or vets? See Resources to Reduce & Reuse.

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