Our Approach

Timeline graphic showing the phases of the project: 2022-23 Phase 1: Research & Engagement Planning. 2023 Phase 2: Research & Engagement Implementation. 2024 Phase 3: Decision-Making & Strategic Plan Development. 2025 Phase 4: Program & Policy Prioritization. 2026 Phase 5: Program & Policy Development Implementation.

SPU is working in collaboration with consultants to co-create a community-centered design approach and connect with diverse communities, businesses, and waste prevention providers across the city and around the world.

Phase 1: Research & Engagement Planning (2022 to 2023)

We are partnering with consultant teams to conduct five parallel research and engagement efforts that will inform the Waste Prevention Strategic Plan (WP Plan). From April 2022 to 2023, we will focus on developing the research and engagement plans, questions, and tools. The project’s Meta-Analysis and Race and Social Justice Team and Writing, Editing, and Graphic Design Team are leading alignment efforts and providing support across the project.

The five research and engagement efforts include:

  1. Customer Experiences
    Engage a diverse array of residential and commercial customers to better understand waste prevention practices, motivations, barriers, and opportunities.
  2. Waste Prevention Provider and Partner Experiences
    Gather insight from Seattle businesses and organizations about how they engage or would like to engage their communities in waste prevention. Such as providing repair opportunities, collecting used items to share or sell, educating communities on how they can prevent waste, and distributing surplus food to those in need.
  3. Best Practices from Other Jurisdictions
    Learn about successful waste prevention programs and policies from other jurisdictions across the U.S. and the world.
  4. Measurement and Evaluation
    Identify methodologies for collecting data to measure the success of waste prevention efforts.
  5. Modeling Tools
    Identify tools that can be used to help calculate specific environmental, economic, and social impacts of waste prevention.

Phase 2: Research & Engagement Implementation (2023)

In 2023, SPU and our consultants will implement the research and engagement plans developed under Phase 1. Methodologies will include in-person and virtual focus groups, listening sessions, interviews, crowdsourcing competitions, surveys, meetings, and online research.

Phase 3: Decision-Making and Waste Prevention Plan Development (2024)

We will use the information collected through the research and engagement efforts to make decisions on the waste prevention goals, metrics, roles, prioritization criteria, and evaluation and measurement strategies and tools to include in the WP Plan. These decisions will guide how we invest waste prevention resources for decades to come.

We are working with our consultants to develop a decision-making and WP Plan review process that is transparent and centers community needs. We will post the details of the process once developed.

Phase 4: Program and Policy Prioritization (2025)

From the research and engagement efforts, we will identify specific waste prevention programs and policies to consider implementing to amplify what’s already successful and fill waste prevention gaps in our community. We will use the prioritization criteria from the WP Plan to evaluate the programs and policies and decide short-term and long-term priorities. Based on this, we will develop an Implementation Plan.

We are working with our consultants to develop a prioritization process that is transparent and centers community needs. We will post the details of the process once developed.

Phase 5: Program and Policy Development and Implementation (2026+)

Once we have identified our waste prevention program and policy priorities, we will collaborate with community and form partnerships to develop and implement the efforts. We will also develop tools to measure success and track progress towards the waste prevention goals and metrics laid out in the WP Plan.

Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.