Seattlites take to social media to complain about the city's trash

Jan 22 2020, 2:00 pm

Although we Seattlites like to preach about our love of nature and our sustainability practices, it’s no doubt that we may not be the cleanest when it comes to the amount of trash left in public spaces.

Since April 2019, one Twitter account, @SeaTrashed, has been documenting “the reality that many of us see and encounter every day in our city.”

After looking at their captions, we’ve deduced that they live in or around Eastlake, with most of their posts highlighting the fact that we need to start cleaning up the city.

Their more recent posts have taken a political turn, indicating the poster wants to reach out to some of Seattle’s leaders.

Here are a few notable posts from other accounts that share the same beliefs:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by readertruck (@readertruck) on

 

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A post shared by @tavernrunner on

 

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A post shared by Rebecca Dahl-Lomatewama (@what_a_dahl) on

 

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A post shared by Rebecca Dahl-Lomatewama (@what_a_dahl) on

 

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A post shared by readertruck (@readertruck) on

While the City of Seattle did not comment directly about the above postings, they did remark to Daily Hive that the city has several programs that address waste including the following programs:

  • Community Litter Abatement Program: This program helps residents and businesses impacted by increased litter. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) contractors collect litter in hot spots, with target areas changing periodically. According to a city official, 1,342,250 pounds of litter has been collected since the program began in 2016.
  • Encampment Trash Program: To help reduce litter, SPU contractors visit camps once a week to collect and hand out purple trash bags for any camp trash. This program also provides an on-call collection. According to a city official, Seattle city council has approved expansion of this program, increasing the budget by $115,000 annually to $364,050.08.
  • Right-of-way Trash Remediation Program: The city removes garbage and debris from roads, sidewalks, and the public right-of-way near RVs. This pilot program encourages those living in RVs to voluntarily move their RVs so that city crews can clean and remove garbage.
  • Needle collection: Since 2017, SPU has been responding to complaints, collecting syringes on city property and providing disposal boxes in park bathrooms and city rights-of-way. So far, the city has collected over 291,000 needles through this collection program.
  • Illegal dumping: To reduce the buildup of illegally dumped trash and debris, SPU directly addresses complaints about dumped materials on city property.

In addition to these programs, a Seattle Public Information Officer mentioned that there is “decreased response time to litter and illegal dumping through the utilization of real-time technology which results in a faster intake process, triage protocol for reports, and updates to customers about the progress of their complaint from start to finish.” SPU also continues to monitor “hot spot” areas and neighborhoods daily while making weekly collection rounds.

The city also noted that customers can report illegal dumping and litter issues directly online or by calling the SPU illegal dumping hotline at 206-684-7665. If waiting on the city isn’t something you feel like doing, take immediate action by gathering a few friends and hosting a neighborhood clean up.

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