Trash, Recycling + Compost Service

Recycling Program News

Recycling Events are Resuming on a Limited Basis

Now that King County has entered Phase 2, we will begin to host some recycling events again.

Safer Recycling Event FAQs

Sign up for email alerts about recycling events

Now that King County has entered Phase 2, we are beginning to host recycling events again on a limited 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 will be starting with low-contact recycling events such as battery recycling and shredding, which limit contact time for staff.

When is the next Styrofoam™ recycling event?

We do not know when we will be able to offer Styrofoam recycling events again. Our vendor is not hosting recycling events at this time. Styrofoam recycling events are much higher contact for staff since they spend longer interacting with each attendee.

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 consider throwing 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 more important than recycling Styrofoam™.

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

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. The State legislature considered a bill to do that this session.

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.

Regional Waste News

King County Northeast Transfer Station Process

In 2020, 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, King County has selected four possible sites for the new station. Two possible locations are in Kirkland, another on the Kirkland-Redmond border, and the fourth in Woodinville. After receiving input from the public through a survey, they will choose the two or three best sites to explore further in an environmental review process.

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 proclaimed a 30-day delay. The State legislature is expected to delay the bag ban for six months or longer. Businesses should continue to follow Kirkland's plastic bag reduction policy until the new state policy takes effect.

Winter Service Alerts

Winter Weather Delays

If Waste Management determines that weather conditions make collection unsafe, they may postpone collection until the following week, when customers can put out twice their regular amount of material. They may also choose to start service later the same day to allow road conditions to improve, but may not have time to collect all materials, in which case missed customers can put out twice their regular amount of material the following week. No credits or refunds will be issued for collection delays due to weather.

Get daily service updates about weather delays at Waste Management's Weatherboard or call Waste Management at 1-800-592-9995.

How to Sign Up for Service Alerts by Phone

If you would like to receive phone alerts about winter weather service delays (may not receive till the afternoon on the day service is cancelled), you can sign up to receive them. If you have received calls from WM in the past, you do not need to do anything. Sign up through the Our Kirkland service portal.

  1. On the first step, you do not need to provide a location.
  2. For the issue, go to Garbage/Water/Sewer Billing, then select "I Want to Receive Waste Management Alerts"
  3. Provide your phone number, service address, and whether you are owner or tenant.

You will be signed up within a week or so, when we next sync our records with Waste Management. 

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.