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MF recycle guide cover
Download our Recycling Guide (pdf, 2mb)

Recycling questions? Contact us at or (425) 587-3812.

Información sobre recolección de reciclaje

Recomendaciones para reciclaje (pdf)
한국어 / Korean (pdf)
አማርኛ / Amharic (pdf)
Русский / Russian (pdf)
繁體中文 / Chinese (pdf)
Tilmaamaha dib-u-wershadaynta xaafadda (pdf)
Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese (pdf)

If you're a multifamily property manager, see our Multifamily Toolkit.

What can I put in my blue cart or dumpster?
In your blue cart, you can recycle:

Recycle Cart

  • Clean paper (including aseptic cartons)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic bottles, cups, tubs, trays & jugs (screw lids back on)
  • Metal (aluminum/tin cans and scrap metal)

Recycle Right with These 3 Rules

  1. Ignore the numbers on plastics and recycle by shape:
    • Bottles
    • Jugs
    • Tubs
    • Cups
    • Trays
  2. Place all recyclables loose into your recycling — that means no plastic bags! This is so everything can be sorted, and because plastic bags jam the sorting equipment by wrapping around the machinery.
  3. No food or liquid in the recycling. So dump out half-full soda cans or scrape clean your yogurt container before you recycle it. If something's really dirty you could give it a little rinse (no need to wash it completely though).

What shouldn't go in my recycling? (our top trouble items)
These items cause issues at the recycling center, and should not go in your complex's recycling:

  • Plastic bags wrap around machinery at the recycling center
  • Lids smaller than 3" across are too small to sort
  • Shredded paper is too small to sort and makes a mess at the recycling center (instead, place in your complex's organics cart if you have one, use a professional shredding service, or place in trash)
  • Sharp objects like broken glass and metal with sharp edges are dangerous for sorters
  • "Tanglers" like wires, rope, chain, and string lights can wrap around machinery
  • Styrofoam isn't able to be sorted (instead, recycle at our special monthly events)

What about...
Not sure whether something is recyclable? Contact our Recycling Hotline at or (425) 587-3812. You can also check King County’s What Do I Do With... website to see if items can be brought somewhere to be recycled.

Drop-Off Recycling Options for Kirkland Residents
For many items that can't go in your complex's recycling, special recycling events and programs allow you to recycle items that are unable to be sorted at the recycling facility.

Special Recycling Programs

Recycling Collection Events
Twice a year (Spring and Fall), we hold a Special Recycling Collection Event for residents to bring in recyclable materials that are not collected curbside, such as tires, motor oil, and electronic peripherals.

Why should I recycle?

  • Recycling helps the environment because items are made into new things instead of sitting unused in the landfill for a lifetime.
  • Our landfill is on pace to fill up in ten years, and once it's full we'll need to either ship our waste somewhere else or build a waste-to-energy facility that harvests energy from burning trash.

What happens to my recycling?
Recyclables go to the Cascade Recycling Center in Woodinville where they are sorted and eventually sold to be made into new products.

sorting paper for recycling

I want to recycle more!
Follow our guide to setting up recycling stations at home, to make sure you're recycling in every room and collecting special recyclables for drop-off.

Is the recycling always full at your complex? Additional recycling is free — have your property manager or HOA contact Waste Management to increase your service.

Unfortunately, not everything is recyclable. Some items aren't because they're made of mixed materials that aren't feasible to separate, some because there isn't a market for the used material, some because they aren't able to be sorted. We've profiled a few things that you shouldn't do, to make recycling better. Remember, recycling is great, but reusing and reducing is even better!

Public Works
Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033
Operations & Maintenance
Mon-Fri, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
915 8th St, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries

Engineering: T. 425.587.3800 | F. 425.587.3807
Operations & Maintenance: T. 425.587.3900 | F. 425.587.3902