Trash, Recycling + Compost Service

Recycling Program News

Recycling Events are Resuming on a Limited Basis

We are hosting selected recycling events. Sign up for recycling event email reminders. (Note June 2021: we have recently changed our email service -- if you were previously signed up for emails, be sure to sign up for the new list to continue receiving alerts about recycling events!)

Safer Recycling Event FAQs

Sign up for email alerts about recycling events

We are hosting recycling events again, on a month-by-month basis.

Does this mean regular recycling events are back?

To maintain flexibility, we’ll be announcing events one at a time rather than scheduling out several months in advance like we’ve done in the past. We have started with low-contact recycling events such as battery recycling and shredding. We are prioritizing materials with the most environmental benefit.

When is the next Styrofoam™ recycling event?

We do not know when we will offer dedicated StyrofoamTM recycling events again. Recycling StyrofoamTM offers limited environmental benefit. The price of hosting StyrofoamTM recycling events has also increased dramatically -- it now costs six times what it originally cost to host an event.

What should I do with my Styrofoam™ until there’s an event?

We ask that you not stockpile any additional Styrofoam™ for future events.

If you have already collected a large quantity, and would like to recycle it now, you can recycle it for free at the Shoreline Transfer Station or the recycling facility in Kent.

Styrofoam™ is not a valuable material for recycling, which is why options for recycling it are so limited. If you only have a small quantity, you could throw it away in your garbage can.

I just want to do the right thing for the environment! What is that?

Recycling is beneficial because it keep materials in use. But, some materials are more worthwhile to recycle than others. Styrofoam™ is more air than plastic, making it a difficult and low value material to recycle. In terms of environmental benefit, composting all your food waste is much more important than recycling Styrofoam™.

The biggest benefit to the environment is reducing how much waste your family produces, both garbage and recycling.

During the 2021 legislative session, Washington State passed a bill that will ban StyrofoamTM takeout containers, packing peanuts, and foam coolers starting in mid-2024.

Waste can be challenging for individuals to take on because so much of our waste, especially packaging, is out of our control. Companies decide what to make products out of, and what to pack and ship them in. A new system called “Extended Producer Responsibility” would work with producers to make packaging more recyclable and use more recycled material.

City Recycling Drop-Offs Are Closed

The City Hall Recycling Center and community center battery, cell phone, and smoke detector drop-offs are closed.

Email Us for Recycling Help

City Hall is closed to the public and our Recycling Team is working remotely. We're still answering recycling questions! For the fastest response, please email us your recycling questions. If you call, please leave a voicemail with your address and question, and we will call you back. We monitor the Recycling Hotline during business hours.

Food-Scrap-Bucket.jpg Request a Free Countertop Food Scrap Pail

We are providing no-contact deliveries of countertop food scrap kits during the pandemic. Simply email us at recycle@kirklandwa.gov to request a compost pail. Be sure to provide your address (including unit number if at an apartment). We will complete deliveries within a few weeks.

Choose Reusable Water Bottles This Summer refilling reusable water bottle at City Hall fountain bottle filling station

Americans drank 14 billion gallons of bottled water in 2019. That’s 3500 single-use bottles every second! The bottled water Americans drank in 2016 produced as many greenhouse gas emissions as 2.5 million cars. Drinking from a reusable water bottle uses 85% less energy and reduces climate impacts by 79%.

This summer, choose reusable water bottles instead of single-use water when you go out to explore and play in Kirkland and beyond. Learn more about the problems with bottled water and see where you can refill your reusable bottles.

Regional Waste News

New Statewide Paint Recycling Program

latex-paint.jpg

Recycling paint just got easier! There's a new statewide paint recycling program. You can now drop off your leftover latex and oil-based paint at participating stores at no charge.

Visit the PaintCare website to find a drop-off location near you and view a list of accepted products. Accepted products include latex paint, oil-based paint, stain, varnish, and more.

PaintCare is a product stewardship program that provides convenient locations to recycle unwanted paint. The industry-led program reports annually to the Washington State Department of Ecology. A small fee, called the PaintCare fee, is applied to all sales of eligible products in Washington, which funds all aspects of the program. Learn more about the PaintCare Program at www.paintcare.org/WA.

King County Northeast Transfer Station Process

In 2019, King County's Solid Waste Division began a process to find a site for a new recycling and transfer station in northeast King County. The new facility will replace the aging and limited Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland. After considering many locations and receiving public input, in Spring 2021 King County narrowed their selection to three sites to evaluate in an environmental review process. Two possible locations are in Kirkland (the location of the existing Houghton Transfer Station, and the current Houghton Park and Ride), and the third is in Woodinville (site of Winsome Trading).

Learn more about the project and public involvement process at King County's Northeast Transfer Station website.

Statewide Plastic Bag Ban Delayed

Washington State's plastic bag ban was originally intended to take effect at the start of 2021, but Governor Inslee and the State legislature have delayed implementation until the COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration has been lifted. Businesses should continue to follow Kirkland's plastic bag reduction policy until the new state policy takes effect.

What Your Recycling Team Does

The Solid Waste Division manages Kirkland's curbside waste collection service, contracted with Waste Management. Kirkland residents and businesses have curbside waste collection service including garbage, recycling, and food + yard waste composting. 

We also host special recycling events and drop-off locations. Learn about our community recycling goals and the services we provide to help Kirkland residents and businesses recycle better and reduce their waste.

Recycling is important, but we're also promoting the first two R's - reduce and reuse - so that Kirkland will make less waste. It's better for the environment to make less waste, even if it could be recycled or composted.