When people think of Seattle, WA they typically think of Starbucks and cold, rainy weather. Granted, those really are hallmarks of Seattle’s legacy. I mean, who hasn’t gotten a grande latte from the green mermaid? That fishy girl is literally on every street corner in Anytown, USA. And as for the rain, well, just look at today’s forecast.

But there is something even more important that defines Seattle that few people know about. What people don’t realize is that Seattle is one of the greenest cities in the United States. Through the use of hydroelectric power plants, the Seattle City Light utility company is able to provide over half of all the energy needed by its customers. That’s over 50% of the city powered by rushing water! The remaining energy demand is met by a combination of city-owned wind and solar plants, as well as electricity that is bought from outside providers. These diverse energy sources have made Seattle one of the few U.S. cities that are on track to become 100% carbon-neutral.
sustainable seattle

In addition, Seattle City Light facilitates the purchase and installation of residential solar electric systems. These systems allow Seattle homeowners to produce their own electricity from the sun, and can even put their unused electricity into the power grid. This results in homeowners receiving credits on their electric bill equal to the amount of electricity they’ve put into the grid. It’s a remarkable way of making money off your utilities, instead of paying for your utilities! Seattle solar users are also eligible for a 30% federal tax credit off the cost of installation, as well as a sales tax exemption of 75% from the state of Washington.

Seattle’s green thumb doesn’t stop at energy production. The city has highly effective recycling programs that in 2008 were able to recycle or compost 48% of all of Seattle’s waste. The city aims to increase this to 60% by the end of this year through a compost collection service introduced a couple of years ago. Seattle residents are given special bins where they can dispose of all their food and yard waste. These bins are then emptied weekly on days that are separate from trash and recycling pick-up days

This method of waste disposal is great for both Seattle dumpster rentals and garbage trucks. Instead of hauling all the waste at once, both garbage and dumpster trucks can keep their fuel use lower by carrying just one waste type at a time. This keeps the total weight of the trucks down, which allows them to use less fuel in between trips to the disposal site.

With so many sustainable measures in place, anyone who rents dumpsters in Seattle can rest a little easy knowing their garbage won’t harm the planet. And Seattleans can appreciate being known for more than just their rainy weather and ubiquitous coffee shops!