Trash, Recycling + Compost Service
Curbside waste collection service includes garbage, recycling, and food + yard waste composting. Collection is provided by Waste Management. Many drop-off recycling options are available for items that cannot be recycled curbside.
Missed pickup? Broken cart? Contact Waste Management for assistance.
What You Can Put in Your Cart or Dumpster
In Kirkland, garbage carts are green , recycle carts are blue , and compost carts are gray . (Food scrap composting by request for apartments and businesses.)
What Do I Do With...?
There are many ways to recycle items you can't put in your cart. We encourage you to make use of year-round drop-off options! See our drop-off recycling guide with options for TVs, plastic bags, paint, old clothes, and more.
What Do I Do With...?
Service Information and Rates
Rates are determined by the size of your garbage container. All residents and businesses in Kirkland must subscribe to waste collection service.
Select recycling events are happening on a month-by-month basis. We are prioritizing events for materials with the greatest environmental benefit, that do not have other accessible recycling options.
The best way to hear about upcoming events is to sign up for our recycling event email list.
(Note: we changed our email service in June — if you were previously signed up for emails, be sure to sign up for the new list to continue receiving alerts about recycling events!)
Sign up for recycling event email reminders
Recycling Program News
Request a Free Countertop Food Scrap Pail
We are providing no-contact deliveries of countertop food scrap kits. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Free Limited Yard Waste Extras in November
During November, residents may put out up to 5 free yard waste extras per week.
During September and October, yard waste extras will be charged at the usual rate of $5.95 plus tax per 32-gallon bag.
If you anticipate having a large number of leaves, you can subscribe to an extra 96-gallon yard waste cart on a monthly basis for $16.21+tax per month — call WM at 1-800-592-9995.
We encourage residents to only rake or leaf blow the street and sidewalk in front of your house (especially by storm drains), and leave the leaves in your yard. On lawn areas, you can mow over leaves and they will provide nutrients to your lawn when they break down -- free, natural fertilizer! In garden beds, fall leaves can be used as mulch to protect and enrich your soil.
The intent of this program is to assist residents in preventing neighborhood flooding. Thank you for clearing leaves off of storm drains and out of gutters on your street!
You will receive an insert with your next City utility bill stating that yard waste extras are not free in November. We apologize for the confusion; the insert was printed before City Council allocated funding for the program at their September 7, 2021 meeting.
Recycling Events and Drop-Off Recycling
City Recycling Drop-Offs Open
The City Hall Recycling Center and community center battery, CFL and smoke detector drop-offs reopened August 2.
Recycle Electronics Next to Your Cart
Did you know that you can recycle electronics next to your cart? Single family residents can schedule pickups with Waste Management for small TVs, microwaves, and many other electronics. Learn how you can recycle electronics next to your cart and find drop-off locations for larger TVs.
New Statewide Paint Recycling Program
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.
Find paint recycling locations near you
Errata: Our billing insert about the PaintCare program, which went out with residential utility bills this summer, incorrectly stated that McLendon Hardware accepts 20 gallons of paint for recycling per visit. They accept only 10 gallons per visit. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please confirm details for the specific location on the PaintCare website, or by contacting the location, before bringing paint to recycle.
Regional Waste News
Statewide Plastic Bag Ban In Effect Oct. 1, 2021
Washington State's plastic bag ban took effect Oct. 1, 2021. It supersedes Kirkland's policy, and businesses should now follow the State guidelines.
Under the statewide policy, retail, grocery and restaurant businesses must charge at least 8 cents for each large paper or thick plastic bag.
For the best environmental impact, the City encourages businesses to continue providing paper bags as their reusable option once the state policy takes effect, rather than providing plastic bags. Thicker plastic bags use more plastic than lightweight plastic bags yet may not be reused enough times to justify their impact.
We encourage residents to continue carrying your own durable reusable bags, and choose paper over plastic if you need to buy a carryout bag. When you do purchase a paper or plastic reusable bag, please reuse it to minimize its environmental impacts.
Paper bags can be recycled in your cart at home. Plastic bags can be dropped off for recycling at participating grocery stores, along with other plastic film like overwrap, plastic mailing envelopes and bread bags.
Customers who notice retail businesses and restaurants continuing to use plastic bags may use the State's reporting tool to inform the Department of Ecology that educational followup may be needed, or enforcement after the business has received education.
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.
Learn more about the project and public involvement process at King County's Northeast Transfer Station website.
What Your Recycling Team Does
The Solid Waste Division manages Kirkland's curbside waste collection service, contracted with Waste Management. 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. We are also working on many actions in the Sustainable Materials Management focus area of the Sustainability Master Plan.
Recycling is important, but we also need to make less waste as a community. Before recycling, remember to reduce and reuse! It's better for the environment to prevent waste, even if the waste could be recycled or composted.