As the City moves more people living unsheltered into safer places, we are also working to restores spaces that were previously homeless encampments into safe, clean spaces. City makes significant investments to clean up trash and waste resulting from the homelessness crisis:
- Removing trash from unmanaged encampments: In 2017, City removed 3,205 tons (6,410,000 pounds) of garbage and waste from unmanaged encampments. In 2018, the City has removed 260 tons (294,000 pounds).
- Trash in the right-of-way: In May 2018, Seattle began a new Citywide effort to remove garbage and debris from roads, sidewalks, and the public right-of-way adjacent to RVs. Started initially as a pilot in November 2017 in SODO, this new coordinated effort is led by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), SPD’s Community Police Team (CPT), Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks), Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) in order to reduce negative impacts to public health and safety. The pilot is designed to engage RV occupants to voluntarily move their RVs, which allows City crews to clean and remove garbage, waste and immobile vehicles left behind. In the first month, the City has collected nearly 34,270 pounds of trash.
- Litter bag pilot program: In January 2017, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) began a pilot program to collect trash from unsanctioned encampments and from areas where RV camping is frequent. Working with other City departments and community partners, SPU gives out litter bags and conducts regular and on-call pick-ups. Since the pilot began, SPU has collected nearly 500,000 pounds of trash – approximately 27,800 pounds a month.
- Syringe collection program: In August 2016, SPU launched a program to collect syringes through complaints as well as special disposal boxes in City public rights-of-way and small bathroom units in City parks. Since it launched in August 2016, SPU has collected 70,934 syringes.