Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division
King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
Q. What items does Transit recycle?
A. Transit currently recycles over 25 items on an on-going basis. Currently Transit recycles the following items:
- Yard waste
- Waste oil
- Office paper
- Plastic film
- Scrap wood
- Sandblast grit
- Computer disks
- Scrap metal
- Polypropylene rope
- Acrylic & Lexan
- Cell phones
- Batteries (rechargeable + alkaline)
- Toner cartridges
- Fluorescent lamp tubes
- High-intensity discharge lamps
- Lamp ballasts
- "Found" appliances
- Construction debris
- Computer monitors
- Petroleum contaminated solids
- Oil filters
As new materials are brought into use, research is conducted to try and add them to this list. There are also a wide range of other materials that get recycled and/or re-used on a more infrequent basis such as paint and various building materials.
Q. Why are there no public recycling receptacles at any of the bus stops?
A. This idea has often been considered and in 2000 a trial was conducted in the downtown Seattle bus tunnel to gauge the public's interest in recycling. Unfortunately, the results were not encouraging as there was found to be just as much trash in the recycling receptacles as there was in the garbage receptacles. Due to the high number of glass shards, needles and other potentially dangerous objects found in garbage, sorting through this mix was not deemed safe. Recycling does occur behind the scenes, though, as most newspapers left on buses get recycled.
Q. Does Transit lose money by operating a recycling program?
A. Quite the contrary, Transit actually makes money by recycling materials. Not only does recycling reduce Transit's solid waste disposal costs, but there are also several items that Transit gets paid to recycle.
Q. Exactly how much material does Transit recycle on an annual basis?
A. Counting only solid materials such as paper, metal, wood and glass, Transit recycled over 1.6 million pounds in 2004. For liquids such as waste oil and antifreeze, the 2004 total is just over 100,000 gallons.
Q. What other conservation programs does Transit have?
A. In addition to having a recycling program, Transit is actively pursuing projects in water conservation, electricity conservation and natural gas conservation. Some of the more exciting recent projects have included solar-powered bus shelters in the downtown Seattle area, building remodels with more efficient lighting and installation of low-flow nozzles on our bus washing systems. Transit has also completed projects that involve urinals that don't require water, variable speed air compressors and hybrid buses.