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Goodbye to the dumpsters of 11th and Pike


You’re gonna miss the 11th/Pike dumpsters (Image: CHS)

Someday, there will probably be a pedestrian-only “festival street” in the heart of Pike/Pine. For now, there are other pedestrian issues to be solved on E Pike including what to do about one of the most infamous set of dumpsters in all of Capitol Hill.

In a briefing last week to the Seattle City Council, the director of the Office of Economic Development was talking trash about the corner of 11th and Pike:

Pike and 11th Dumpster Removal – James Kelly and colleagues in SPU have been meeting with community and business leaders on Capitol Hill to address the dramatic accumulation of dumpsters at 11th and Pike due to intensive redevelopment that is occurring in the neighborhood.

The concentration of dumpsters has led to safety, hygiene, and aesthetic concerns and necessitated a convening of all the interests to work out a solution. With the support of the Capitol Hill Chamber, a play [sic] was agreed upon that involves movement of containers by Big Mario’s Pizza, Bimbo’s Cantina, Café Vita, and Pettirosso. Options given to business owners include going to dumpster free pickup of garbage bags up to three times a day.

For a variety of reasons, perennial streetscape issues like Pike/Pine’s dumpsters are increasingly on City Hall’s radar. Along with concerns over increased street crime, the trash was a focal point in Mayor Ed Murray’s “Find It, Fix It” walk through the neighborhood last fall. Whether it’s new technology like the Find It, Fix It app, increased awareness about doing more to improve the pedestrian, biking, and transit environment around the neighborhood’s incessant construction (the city is currently searching for a new Street Use Division Director), or an increasingly “hyperlocal” political environment, issues like trash and potholes are hot stuff at City Hall.

According to Miki Sodos of Pettirosso, businesses in the area that previously used the 11/Pike dumpster have had to pony up to eliminate the eye — and sometimes nose — sore. “We had to move our bins to smaller bins with multiple pickups a week,” the cafe owner tells CHS. “And now we have to pay [net lease] on the trash space within the building plus extra charges for pickup. We’re paying about 300 extra per month now.”

Still, Sodos said she, too, is happy to see the dumpsters off E Pike. “I completely support getting those dumpsters out of that area, it was such an eyesore and really hurting Hothouse’s business, but if you know about any free deal let me know!”

The change possibly bumps up the dumpsters used by businesses including the Comet and Lost Lake at 10th and Pike to the position of the most interesting trash receptacles on Capitol Hill. And, yes, those hot topic dumpsters are already on the radar down at City Hall.

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16 thoughts on “Goodbye to the dumpsters of 11th and Pike

  1. Good. Maybe they can deal with the trash bins on 11th and E. Harrison – what an eyesore, and they often block the sidewalk too.

    • I second the motion!

      The trash and bins just off Broadway on E Harrison St. are horrible. They leak oil and crap all over the sidewalks. Many homeless will hang out there as well.

      Some of this has to do with the city requiring a different bin for everything and that every business has to have them so now instead of 1 or 2 bins ..everyone has 3 or 4

      • I think you might mean the area near the NE corner of Broadway & Harrison. It has been a problem for years, partially due to illegal dumping by “outsiders,” but mainly due to irresponsible behavior on the part of some businesses who store their containers there (they often just dump their trash bags on the sidewalk when their containers are full, and inevitably the crows do their thing and scatter loose trash around). Cleanscapes is well aware of the problem and they do their best to clean up, but better still would be for certain businesses to pay for more frequent pickups.

        But the best solution of all is to use the “dumpster-free” program. Unfortunately, very few businesses get on-board with this….they would rather dump their trash on the corner, “out-of-sight, out-of-mind.” I think that dumpster-free should be mandatory, as it is in Pioneer Square.

  2. Anyone had a look at E Republican in back of the QFC dock? An eyesore that makes it almost impossible to use the sidewalk.

  3. The Pioneer Square area has got rid of all the dumpster in favor of a plastic bag program, which has been big improvement.

  4. None of the new development is taking this into account so there aren’t any more alleys in the neighborhood, which would solve some of this but the whole system is antiquated. I vote for a bag program also, especially if they can keep it the same price.

  5. You know where I hardly ever see overflowing dumpsters on the sidewalk? In just about every other livable large city. Where the City–be it Chicago, NYC, SF–puts trash cans on street corners, clears them on routine sanitation runs, conducts street cleaning and alternate side parking, establishes appointed days/times when commercial dumpsters can be put out for collection and fines businesses for leaving them outside of those times.

    This is not a discrete Pike/Pine problem; it’s a citywide problem.

  6. Thanks for most of the work to relocate all of these dumpsters goes to Wayne Gallup of SDOT and Michael Wells of the Chamber. THANK YOU gentlemen!