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Trash, Recycling & Compost

Need Assistance?
Billing question?
Residents can contact Utility Billing.
Businesses can contact Waste Management.
Missed pickup? Damaged cart?
Contact Waste Management.
Not sure how to recycle something? Contact us at (425) 587-3812 or
Need recycling help at your business or multifamily property? We provide on-site assistance and free resources.
Other issue? See our contact page.

The Solid Waste Division manages Kirkland's curbside trash, recycling and food + yard waste collection service for people who live in single-family homes, apartments and condos, as well as businesses.  Kirkland's contracted hauler Waste Management provides collection service.

Waste less, recycle right & protect our lake!
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Upcoming events / special dates:
Sept 14 - StyroFest plastic foam recycling
Sept 18 - Design a Yard Your Plants Will Lovelinks to external site - free class
Sept 25 - Cisterns, Rain Barrels & Rain Gardenslinks to external site - free class
Sept 28 - Autumn in the Gardenlinks to external site - free class
Sept 30-Oct 4 - Donations accepted for Halloween Costume Swap
Oct 5 - Recycling Collection Event
Oct 5Halloween Costume Swap
Oct 12 - Sustainability Summitlinks to external site
Oct 19 - Orca Recovery Daylinks to external site
Oct 19 - Green Kirkland Day

What do I do with...?

While extra household recycling is free, some common items cannot be recycled in your household recycling cart. Here's how you can recycle or safely dispose some common items that aren't accepted in your cart or dumpster.

How to Recycle Items That Can't Go In Your Recycling Cart:

Looking for something else? Search King County's "What Do I Do With?" directorylinks to external site or ask us at (425) 587-3812 or

Special Recycling Events
Fall Recycling Collection Event
We host two residential recycling events each year to dispose of recyclable items that are not normally accepted during weekly recycling collection service or through product stewardship programs. Our fall 2019 event will be held October 5. See accepted items and recycling fees on the event listing.

Free Shredding Events in 2019
Shred up to 4 file-sized boxes of confidential materials at our October 5 Recycling Collection Event.

Shredding confidential papers with a service, instead of at home, allows the paper to be recycled. Shredded paper is not accepted in your home recycling cart. While shredding with a service is preferable to shredding at home, shredded paper has fewer recycling applications than larger paper pieces, so it is best to shred only what you need.

Waste Reduction Tips
Refresh Your Fall Wardrobe the Green Way
If you plan to refresh your wardrobe this fall, two simple changes can help reduce your environmental impact: donatinglinks to external site clothes you no longer want instead of throwing them away, and buying clothing secondhand.

The average person throws out 81 pounds of usable textiles a year. Nearly 95 percent of the clothes, shoes, and linens that Americans toss could have been recycled or reused! Even stained, torn, and mismatched clothinglinks to external site and textiles can be donated for recycling. Instead of trashing your damaged clothes & linens, donate them for recycling.

In Kirkland, Goodwill and Value Village accept textiles for recycling. Residents who live in houses can also put out clothing for recycling next to their carts by alerting Waste Management at 1-800-592-9995.
recycle textiles at goodwill or value village in Kirkland

It's earth-friendly to choose pre-worn clothing because it makes the most of the resources used to produce an item. New clothing takes a lot of water to produce – up to 700 gallons of water for a cotton T-shirt! Next time you need a new clothing item, see if you can find it pre-owned first. Kirkland has many thrift and consignment shops where you can find secondhand clothes in good condition while supporting a local business. Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shoplinks to external site is an EnviroStars green business whose proceeds go back into local non-profits that help our neighbors in need.

costume-swap-kidsReuse Costumes at Kirkland's Community Costume Swap
Donate your old costumes during the week of September 30 - October 4. Then, complete the swap by selecting a donated costume on October 5.

Costumes of all sizes - from infant to adult - are accepted. Items should be clean and in good, wearable condition. This is a great way to help the environment, save money, and share with the community!

See details about where to donate and how the swap works.

Local Recycling and Disposal News
Cleanup LIFT Offers Low-Income Residents Discount for Disposal
Low-income King County residents may be eligible for reduced fees at King County transfer stations, including Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland and the Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station. Eligible King County residents who show their Provider One, EBT or ORCA LIFT card can receive $12 off the cost to dispose of recyclables, yard waste and garbage each visit. Learn morelinks to external site.
Cleanup LIFT discount - eligible customers receive $12 off the cost to dispose of garbage and recyclables, each visit

Free Non-Refrigerant Appliance Recycling at Selected Transfer Stations
Beginning January 1, 2019, customers are able to recycle non-refrigerant type major appliances at no cost, including stoves, washers, and dryers at King County solid waste facilities where scrap metal is collected. The closest participating transfer stations are in Bellevuelinks to external site and Shorelinelinks to external site. Refrigerant appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners continue to have a disposal fee.

Curbside Collection Program Updates
Recycling Needs to Be Clean and Loose
rinse containers before recycling to prevent mold
Please make sure that everything you put into your recycling cart or dumpster is clean and loose:

  • Clean - rinse out food residue, pour out liquids
  • Loose - do not bag recyclables, break down boxes

Food and liquid contaminate recyclables, making them harder to recycle and reducing their value. Recycling with food on or in it may become moldy before it arrives at the processing facility (often overseas). That's why it's so important to fully empty aseptic cartons like milk cartons or soup boxes. China used to be a major destination for selling recyclables, but at the beginning of 2018 they increased their cleanliness standards for imported paper and plastic.

Do Not Bag Recyclables
do not bag recyclables
no bagged recyclables iconoops tagDo not put your recycling inside of plastic bags -- plastic bags are not allowed in the recycling in Kirkland. Instead, place recyclables loose in your cart. Plastic bags used to be allowed, but we learned that they jam equipment at the Recycling Center, causing the center to shut down multiple times a day so that plastic bags can be removed manually. Recyclables in plastic bags often resemble bags of trash so it is likely that materials in plastic bags will be pulled off the recycling line and disposed as trash.

If your recycling driver notices that there are plastic bags in your recycling, the driver may not pick up your recycling that week and will leave you an "Oops" tag on your cart explaining what the problem was. After removing the plastic bags, you can put the recycling out for pickup the following week. Extra recycling is free in Kirkland. You can always put out extra recyclables in your own can (labeled Recycling) or a cardboard box (labeled Recycling).

Policy News
City Council Adopts the 2019 King County Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan
City Council has adopted the 2019 King County Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Planlinks to external site. Once the King County cities’ approval process concludes in September 2019, Kirkland’s residents and businesses will have new recycling diversion, waste generation, and waste disposal targets to meet. (See page 33 of this pdf.) Kirkland is meeting some of the plan’s targets but others will require additional effort and resources to reach.

The plan establishes a target recycling diversion rate of 70%. Currently Kirkland’s combined single family, multifamily, and commercial recycling rate is about 46%. Kirkland residents currently throw away about 7.8 pounds of material each week, while the plan’s waste disposal target would be 5.1 pounds. The plan also calls for lower waste generation, the total weight of waste each person produces (including trash, recycling and compost).

Under the plan, a new transfer station will be sited and built somewhere in the northeast County service area. This service area includes the cities of Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish. Modern transfer stations offer recycling services and acceptance of difficult-to-recycle items such as appliances, mattresses, fluorescent tubes/bulbs, polystyrene, yard waste, and sharps. Once the new station is built, the Houghton Transfer Station will be closed. The King County-led transfer station siting process is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019 and will include opportunities for public involvement and comment.

New Commercial Recycling Ordinance Requires Equal Recycling Capacity
With the recent passage of Ordinance O-4695 by the Kirkland City Council, Kirkland commercial customers are now required to have recycling service and have as capacity for recycling as they do for trash. Wherever possible, trash and recycling receptacles should be located directly next to each other. At a minimum businesses should collect and recycle newspapers, mixed papers, and recyclable bottles, cans and plastic containers.

Over the next several months Solid Waste Division staff will be assisting businesses who need help to meet the new standards. Recycling is included with trash service in through the City’s contract with Waste Management at no extra cost. Kirkland also offers businesses free on-site assistance, deskside recycling containers, and outreach materials. The new ordinance does not restrict businesses from getting recycling service through a service provider of their own choosing, pursuant to State law.

The new ordinance is intended to improve the commercial recycling diversion rate, or proportion of material recycled. Currently Kirkland businesses are recycling a much smaller proportion of their waste than residents.

Policy Exploration Begins for Single Use Food Service Ware
The Solid Waste Division presented introductory research and initial policy routes for addressing single use food service ware in Kirkland at the March 22, 2019 Public Works, Parks, and Human Services Committee. The same presentation was given at the April 2, 2019 Study Session. Staff will conduct further research related to policy considerations and provide more information to Council.

Plastic Bag Reduction Policy in Effect as of March 1, 2016
Kirkland's plastic bag policy took effect on March 1, 2016. The policy restricts disposable plastic bags at checkout and is similar to policies adopted by Seattle, Issaquah, and other cities.

Large paper bags now cost five cents at grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations, pharmacies, and supercenters. The requirement to charge for paper bags has been permanently suspended for other retailers as of April 18, 2017. Retailers keep all five cents of the bag fee to defray the higher cost of the bags.

Public Works
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033
T. 425-587-3800 | F. 425-587-3807
Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Operations & Maintenance
915 8th St, Kirkland WA 98033
T. 425-587-3900 24/7 | F. 425-587-3902
Mon-Fri, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

General Inquiries - Contact us via the: 
Our Kirkland Customer Service Portal