Clean Streets


The U District Partnership strives to make the U District a cleaner and more vibrant place to work, live, and visit...

The UDP aims to make this happen through several strategies across the neighborhood. Working to educate the community on strategies to keep their properties clean and, in the case of a mess caused by illegal dumping, graffiti, dumpster diving etc., how to report the issue and have it resolved. We operate the BIA Cleaning Area in an area of the U District where property owners pay an increased assessment to fund 7 day a week cleaning. The UDP hosts monthly community cleanups where we work with volunteers to clean all around the U District. In addition to the monthly cleanups, the UDP also hosts several special cleanups throughout the year.


If you see graffiti, illegally dumped items or other issues, you can use the free City of Seattle "Find it, Fix it" phone app. Read our tutorial for downloading and using the app here.

In the urban environment, messes happen. Furniture being dumped in alleys, road signs getting hit with graffiti, dumpsters being rifled through and their contents strewn about; all these are common cleanliness issues we have all come across. Educating people on what to do to prevent these things from happening or, when they do occur, what to do to report them is something that we strive to do at the U District Partnership. We do this in a variety of ways. We host monthly Clean and Safe meeting the second Thursday of the month from 12:00-1:30 pm at the University Heights Center. At these meetings, we discuss strategies of preventing and ways of reporting cleanliness issues. We also work to educate people on what to do when we see that there is a cleanliness issue outside of their residence or business. The U District Partnership participates in a variety of events and meetings where we get a chance to educate people on ways to keep our neighborhood clean.  

UDP staff is always working around the district. As staff is out they are consistently identifying areas with cleanliness issues and working at ways to address the issues at hand. The UDP works with various departments within the City of Seattle and our solid waste contractor to tackle chronic issues and, when there are instances of an extreme mess, work to get them cleaned up in a timely manner. We also work with the City and the cleaning contractor during the summer to address the high volume of illegally dumped furniture around the district and are coming up with new and creative measures to mitigate the negative effects.

The U Loo Project is one of the UDP's more ambitious initiatives, brining a public restroom to the District to enhance public health and community well being. The UDP engaged a consultant to help us outline a process for securing funds for installation and on going maintenance of such a facility. The report can be found HERE.


The U District Partnership operates a cleaning area in part of the U District. The cleaning in the select area of the U District is funded by a special assessment from property owners in that area. Our current contractor is Recology CleanScapes. Our contract includes the following:

Eight service/man hours per day in order of priority: 

  1. Litter clean-up and sweep.  May be done at any hour provided entire district is serviced by 3pm.  The Operations Supervisor is responsible for deploying crew to provide an overall level of cleanliness for the district. 
  2. Graffiti removal or paint-out for all graffiti up to eight feet high from public property and private property, excluding City pay stations, per board’s request.  All graffiti removed or painted out within five days of reporting.  Graffiti painted out with stain blocking primer grey in color.  A notice will be placed under the door or given to the business advising them that graffiti has been primed out and that they are responsible for the match.  If it is determined the graffiti job is too large, Recology CleanScapes or the Chamber will contact the property owner to discuss an estimate.
  3. Remove taped up posters from light poles, utility boxes, phone booths, and newspaper stands, excluding City signs per the City’s request.
  4. Excluded from hour count but included in DSM service is on-call response (three hour response time) to emergency cleanliness situations including but not limited to urine, vomit, and other waste district wide.  These calls will be recorded and included in the monthly reports. 
  5. Contact SPU, SDOT, Metro, City Light, Seattle Weekly, property owners or other organizations that are responsible for repair issues on the street; broken lights, benches, non-working pay phones, illegal dumping etc. 
  6. In the event of snow, Recology CleanScapes will shovel a path down the sidewalk between businesses and at entrances.  The path will be as wide as shovel, 30 inches.  In November, Recology CleanScapes stocks a large supply of salt that will be used on sidewalks after shoveling is completed.  Response time may vary depending on weather.
  7. Hosing service will be provided for up to 4 hours per month at no additional charge. Hours can be used each month and service requested during monthly walks at the discretion of the BBIA. Hours are to be used monthly and are not accumulative.

Recology CleanScapes will be closed on the following holidays:  New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

In 2016 our contractor picked up:

·       3,102 Bags of trash

·       4,665 Graffiti tags removed

·       1,522 Biohazard pickups


                  The U District Partnership hosts a community cleanup on the last Saturday of every month. The activities that volunteers do varies from painting out graffiti, cleaning our parks and preparing them for spring, painting storm drains that tell people not to pollute, picking up litter around the U District, etc. In addition to the monthly cleanups, the UDP helps to run a variety of additional cleanups throughout the year. Last year helped to facilitate over 1,000 hours of volunteer time dedicated to cleaning and making the U District a more vibrant neighborhood.