The City of SeaTac announced recently that it has adjusted recycling rates, “thanks to citizen efforts to decrease contamination of recyclable goods.”

The new rate will start in November.

Here’s more from the city:

In 2018, recycling rates increased because of contamination amongst recyclable goods. China, the U.S.’s main buyer of recycling could no longer accept contaminated products. The City was no different—much of the recycling put into containers wasn’t actually recyclable.

The City decided to adjust its sustainability rate, remove plastic from the list of accepted recycling materials and create a contamination enforcement fee system for multi-family and commercial customers. Contamination monitoring started in 2019. At that time roughly 48 percent of customers were failing the contamination tests.

In August of this year, only 9 percent of customers were failing contamination standards. SeaTac now has the lowest contamination rate on record, which means Recology is able to sell the recycling at a higher price. This will result in a .64 cent a month reduction for residential properties and $2.14 reduction per cubic yard for commercial properties.

SeaTac wants to thank its residents for their hard work at ensuring we meet recycling standards and we must continue working toward reducing contamination as best we can.