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Download our Recycling Guide (pdf, 2mb)

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

Información sobre recolección de reciclaje

Recomendaciones para reciclaje (pdf)
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Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese (pdf)

What can I put in my blue cart?
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)
Extra recycling is free. Place extra household recyclables next to your cart in a paper bag, cardboard box, or reusable container labeled "Recycling". Extra cardboard boxes can be broken down and placed next to your cart.

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 cart — 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. Think clean and dry. So dump out half-full soda cans or scrape clean your yogurt container before you recycle it. You could give items a little rinse (no need to wash it completely though). Essentially we're looking to avoid mold and getting paper wet because that reduces its value.
What shouldn't go in my recycle cart? (our top trouble items)
These items cause issues at the recycling center, and should not go in your recycling at home:
  • 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 food + yard waste cart, or use a professional shredding service)
  • 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 and Next-to-Your-Cart Recycling Options 
For many items that can't go inside your home recycling cart, there are special recycling events and programs for you to drop off items or put them out next to your cart (with notice to Waste Management).

Special Recycling Programs
Recycling Collection Events
Twice a year (May and October), we hold a Special Recycling Collection Event for residents to bring in recyclable materials that are not collected curbside, such as tires, appliances, mattresses and toilets.

Why should I recycle?

  • Recycle to save money. By putting recyclables in your blue cart, you generate less trash. With less trash, you can opt for a smaller (and cheaper) garbage service level.
  • 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. These options will likely cost more than using our current landfill, which would make your rates increase.

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. This facility influences what's accepted in your recycling cart at home, because anything that goes in your blue cart needs to be able to be sorted here.

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.

Unfortunately, not everything is recyclable. Some items aren't because they aren't able to be sorted, some because they're made of mixed materials that aren't feasible to separate into components, some because there isn't a market for the used material. 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