Cleaning the U District


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

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 seven 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.

Find it, Fix It Phone App
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.

Clean and Safe Monthly Meeting
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.  

Cleaning Contractor
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 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 UDBIA has two cleaning areas (see map below) in which the properties within these areas pay an additional assessment to fund the scope of work below.

The current contractor for the UDBIA cleaning areas is Black Mountain. Black Mountain will pick up litter in all city right-of-ways within the Cleaning Area boundaries. This will be done with pickers, powered blowers, and the use of a broom and dustpan. During the fall, Black Mountain will pick up the fallen leaves from the trees in the Cleaning Areas.

Black Mountain will provide graffiti removal on a case-by-case basis up to 8’ off the ground. Graffiti will be wiped off unpainted surfaces. On painted surfaces, it will be painted out using a grey stain blocking primer, preparing your building to be color matched and painted by the property. Please call if the graffiti is on masonry surfaces. These need to be evaluated on whether it can be removed by us or would need to be done by a graffiti removal specialist. Elm Grove will remove any stickers and illegal postings in the right-of-way.

In the case of snow, Black Mountain will shovel the snow on the sidewalks and apply salt to ensure a walkable surface.

Black Mountain will provide 8-hours of regular pressure washing every month. This limited amount of pressure washing is cycled through the Cleaning Areas and is scheduled through our office. If you would like to have additional pressure washing done outside your business or building, you can contact the UDP to arrange for addition pressure washing to be done for a fee.

Black Mountain will also provide 24-hour biohazard removal. To report a biohazard, email Dex Montenegro at or call him at (206) 519-7881. Please use these services as these are dangerous items and Black Mountain is trained to ensure safe disposal.

To find out more about the cleaning services within the BIA Cleaning Areas or any of the other Clean and Safe Programs, contact Marcus Johnson by phone (206) 547-4417 or by email at Black Mountain will be closed on the following holidays:  Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 

Seasonal Leaf Removal
The U District Partnership contracts a street sweeping company to pick up leaves from the streets throughout the UDBIA in the Fall. In 2018, we picked up 15-tons of leaves from the streets of the UDBIA.

Monthly BIA Walk
Everyone is welcome to join the U District Partnership on our monthly BIA Walk where we walk the cleaning area with our contractor and other stakeholders. We meet at the UDP office (4507 University Way NE, Suite 209) on the third Friday of the month at 9 a.m.

UDP Beautification Team
The U District Partnership has two Beautification Team Members. These team members help to maintain out seasonal flower baskets, remove graffiti on public right-of-way, and various other cleaning projects around the U District Business Improvement Area.

Monthly Community Cleanup
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 and helps to facilitate over 1,000 hours of volunteer time dedicated to cleaning and making the U District a more vibrant neighborhood.