Seattle Public Utilities

SPU reports that residents are confusing bags made out of recycled materials with bags that can be used for composting.
Courtesy of Seattle Public Utilities

Seattleites, you have been composting wrong.

Seattle Public Utilities says people often put produce bags in the compost bin, but not all of those bags are biodegradable. That messes up the city's composting machines, which are costly to fix. 

A new Seattle City Council plan would give thousands more people a discount on utilities. Two bills to do that were advanced at the committee level on Tuesday.

Currently, people who live in federally subsidized housing are excluded from Seattle's Utility Discount Program (UDP). The legislation would change that and automatically enroll them for discounts.

Utility crews in Seattle and Tacoma are on the hunt for lead goosenecks.


Screenshot of the water service map.
Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle Public Utilities staff explained their advice for residents to the Seattle City Council on Monday.

Here are the takeaways:

What's the problem? Is Seattle's drinking water safe?

File Photo of an old water fountain.
Flickr Photo/Paul Domenick (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dqusC4

Utility officials in Seattle say residents should turn on the faucet for a few minutes if the water hasn't run for six hours. The precaution comes after high levels of lead were found in water lines connected to four Tacoma homes.

Flickr Photo/ Thilo M. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/HTTP://BIT.LY/1SBLFKZ

Most cities want to control their own destiny. Shoreline, just north of Seattle, is no exception. But now a deal it hoped would help distinguish it from Seattle has fallen apart.

Does this orange peel belong in the trash, recycling or compost?
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

It probably comes as little surprise that Seattle gets an A for recycling.

Seventy percent of all our trash ends up in compost or recycling; just 30 percent goes to the landfill.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

Customers of Seattle City Light are likely to see an increase in their bills later this year.

The utility is facing lower than expected revenues, and that could mean an automatic 3 percent surcharge for customers.

Possible Rate Hikes For Seattle Public Utilities Customers

Feb 6, 2014
Flickr Photo/Joe Shlabotnik

Steve Scher talks with Ray Hoffman, director of Seattle Public Utilities, about the possible rate hikes for Seattle residents. SPU is hosting four public meetings to collect comments from the community.

Seattle Department of Planning and Development

David Hyde spoke with Publicola's Erica C. Barnett about microhousing, the debate over a possible Seattle City Light surcharge, and other issues facing the city.

KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Seattle trash pickup could be reduced to every other week by 2015 if the Seattle City Council votes on Monday to keep that option on the table for the next year.

If the action passes as expected, biweekly service won’t be definite, however: Mayor-elect Ed Murray and  council members will still need to pass the legislation early next year.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

A large water pipe next to the University Village mall, just east of the University of Washington, erupted Tuesday afternoon, shooting a 20-foot geyser into the air and shutting down traffic at the start of rush hour.

Photo of 5 garbage and recycling containers
KUOW / Derek Wang

Many Seattle residents are grateful for the new year because it means that their garbage will be picked up every week. At least for now.

For the past six months, 800 Seattle households participated in a pilot program that experimented with picking up the trash every other week. The affected neighborhoods were roughly in the four corners of the city and included Wedgewood.

blue faucet
blockpartypress / Creative Commons - flickr

Last Tuesday's general election marked a decisive moment for the city of Shoreline: 70 percent of voters there agreed to buy water services back from the city of Seattle and create their own water utility. 

Washington state Auditor Brian Sonntag has issued a report citing significant deficiencies in the billing systems at Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). His report is based on annual audits by accounting firms.