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SEA Passenger Recycling Information

Help SEA Prevent Waste and Keep Recoverable Materials Out of Landfill

The Port of Seattle aspires to be the greenest and most energy-efficient port in North America. SEA's Waste Reduction and Recycling Program works towards this goal and provides opportunities for passengers to contribute. Passengers play a key role and we need your support!

We strive to maximize diversion of recoverable materials from landfills while maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local waste regulations. Our waste reduction goals are:

  • Divert 60% of our terminal waste from landfills

  • Divert 15% of our airfield waste from landfills

  • Divert 90% of our construction project waste from landfills

Questions? Contact SEA's Environment and Sustainability Department at or (206) 787-5525.


Properly Sort Your Waste

Passengers will find recycling and compost bins conveniently located throughout the airport. Learn how to sort your waste by exploring the guidance below.

SEA Sorting Video

Multilingual Sorting Guidance

SEA's sorting guidance is available in these languages:

English አማርኛ (Amharic)
العربية (Arabic) دری (Dari)
Français (French) Afaan Oromoo (Oromo)
پښتو (Pashto) Af-Soomaali (Somali)
Español (Spanish) Wikang Tagalog/Filipino (Tagalog/Filipino)
ትግርኛ (Tigrinya)

Reduce Your Impact While Traveling

Prevent waste in the first place! Bring your own reusable water bottle and consider bringing reusable food service ware or opting for reusable products when dining. Also, use digital boarding passes and say “no thanks” to bags when purchasing at the airport. For these tips and more, explore The Green Guide to Sustainable Travel.

Recycle Right! It Matters!

Recyclables need to be empty, clean, and dry. Food and liquids contaminate other recyclables in the bin. Help SEA sort correctly so more materials can turn into new products!

Learn more about recycling right from the Washington State Department of Ecology.


Recyclable Materials:

Paper Plastic Metal Glass
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Office paper, including windowed envelopes and file folders
  • Mail, magazines, mixed paper
  • Newspaper
  • Paper bags
  • Wrapping paper (non-metallic)
  • Cartons
  • Bottles (all colors and numbers)
  • Food containers and trays
  • Clear or colored plastic milk jugs
  • Dairy tubs
  • Plastic cups
  • Lids (3 inches or wider)
  • Plastic buckets
  • PVC pipe (white only)
  • Household rigid plastic items such as furniture and laundry baskets
  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil and pie tins (clean)
  • Tin cans
  • Ferrous scrap metal
  • Other scrap metals (smaller than 2’ x 2’ x 2’)
  • Bottles
  • Jars

Find a comprehensive list of recyclables at Recology.

Compost More! Waste Less!

Passengers can compost food scraps, used napkins, pizza boxes, and approved food service ware packaging. Food + Compostables go to a local composting facility and come back to SEA as soil amendments used in landscaping.


Compostable Materials:

Food Food-Soiled Paper Approved Compostable Packaging
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Shells and bones
  • Dairy
  • Pasta and rice
  • Eggshells and nutshells
  • Bread and grains
  • Meat and fish
  • Paper bags, towels, packets, and newspapers
  • Pizza boxes
  • Uncoated paper plates and napkins
  • Coffee grounds and filters

Find a comprehensive list of compostables at Cedar Grove.

When In Doubt, Find Out!

Unsure of how to dispose of a certain material? Use SEA's guidance or Seattle Public Utilities Where Does it Go? Tool*

*This link is intended for general information only. Not all guidance matches SEA's waste disposal requirements. For questions, contact SEA's Environment and Sustainability Department at

Put snack bags, wrappers, personnel items, toiletries, masks, gloves, plastic bags, styrofoam, dirty foil, and plastic wrap in the trash bin.

Any material that cannot be recycled or composted should be disposed of in the trash. Examples include dirty foil, plastic wrap, food wrappers, foam containers, gloves, masks, plastic cutlery, and straws.


Meet Oscar, SEA Airport's AI Waste-Sorting Technology

Next time you visit the airport, be on the lookout for Oscar, a new AI waste-sorting technology that helps passengers sort their waste items into compost, recycling, or trash bins.

Oscar AI screen above trash, food + compostables, and recycling bins

Place a waste item in front of the camera for analysis, and Oscar will tell you which bin to dispose of your item. As recycling rules differ across the world, SEA's Oscar units are configured to follow local sorting and packaging requirements. The Oscar units are designed so their cameras do not capture or store identifying information about users, just the waste items they present for sorting.

Find Oscar units in the Central Terminal, North Concourse, South Concourse near gate S2, and C Concourse near gate C17. Discover more about SEA Airport's Oscar units through this press release.


Bring a reusable water bottle

Find the closest water bottle refill station to you on the interactive SEA map and learn more about the stations.

Open bottle and pour liquid into the drain on top of the Liquid Drain Station receptacle.
Liquid drain stations are available at every Security Checkpoint.


Once through security, refill your water bottle at stations throughout the terminal.


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