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Trash, Recycling & Compost

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? Ask us at (425) 587-3812 or recycle@kirklandwa.gov.
Need recycling help at your business or multifamily property? We provide free on-site assistance and resources.
Other issue? See our contact page.

The Solid Waste Division manages Kirkland's curbside garbage, 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.

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Waste less, recycle right & protect our lake!
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Upcoming events / special dates:
Jan 6-17 - free curbside Christmas tree collection on your regular service day
Feb 1 - Styrofoam Recycling Event
Mar 7 - Styrofoam Recycling + Free Shredding

What do I do with...?

Extra household recycling is free. Some common items cannot be recycled in your household recycling cart but have special recycling programs available. Here's how you can recycle or safely dispose some common items that aren't accepted in your cart or dumpster.

These items can't go in your recycling cart. Learn how to recycle or safely dispose of them:

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 recycle@kirklandwa.gov.

Seasonal Updates

Special Christmas Tree Collection in First Two Weeks of January

Kirkland offers free Christmas tree collection during the first two full weeks of January (January 6-17). NOTE: customers whose service was delayed by weather conditions the week of Jan. 13 may place out Christmas trees the following week (week of Jan. 20). Place undecorated, unflocked natural trees under 6’ tall next to your cart on your regular service day during the first two weeks of January. Trees taller than 6’ should be cut into segments up to 6’ long. Collected trees will be composted by Cedar Grove.

Apartment and condo-dwellers also have access to Christmas tree collection next to their dumpsters on specific dates. For those who live in apartments in the northern part of Kirkland (Juanita, Finn Hill, Kingsgate, Totem Lake), trees will be collected on Mondays and Thursdays (Jan 6, 9, 13, 16); apartment residents in the southern part of Kirkland will have trees collected on Tuesdays and Fridays (Jan 7, 10, 14, 17). See our Christmas tree collection map (pdf, 4.7mb) for a more detailed view.

Artificial trees must be disposed in the garbage – there is no recycling option – so if you are ready to switch away from an artificial tree you have, see if you can find someone else who can use it before resorting to the trash can.

Winter Weather Service Delays
Waste Management may delay collection service due to inclement weather or icy road conditions. If they are not able to provide service on your regular collection day, they will collect up to twice your regular amount of garbage, recycling, and food+yard waste at no additional charge on your next regularly scheduled collection day. Credits will not be issued for collection service delayed due to inclement weather. 

You can see service delay information on WM's Weatherboardlinks to external site, or you can call 1-800-592-9995.

Learn how Waste Management decides whether or not it is safe to provide service, why you may see garbage trucks on the road when residential service was delayed, why garbage trucks cannot be repurposed as snowplows, and more in WM's winter weather FAQs (pdf)links to external site.

How to Put out Extra Material in the Event of a Service Delay
Please see WM's guide to putting out extra material (pdf)links to external site for more details.
extra material placement

Service Alerts
Waste Management provides a phone call when collection service is delayed. If you didn't receive service alerts last year (automated phone call), that means Waste Management did not have your number on file. You can update your phone number through the Our Kirkland portal (instructions below). No action is needed if you received service alerts during last year's weather event. 

  1. Go to "Our Kirkland" portal (or use the app)
  2. Click "Request for Service"
  3. Skip the address and click next
  4. Under "Type of Issue," go to "Garbage/Water/Sewer Billing" and select "I want to receive Waste Management alerts"

Please keep in mind that this is not a real-time data update, so please complete this step before winter weather arrives to ensure your record is updated in advance of any delays.

2020 Recycling Guides
You should have received your 2020 Recycling Guide in the mail during December. Updated rates are included in the single-family guide. Please save your guide for reference throughout the year. If you did not receive your guide or need another copy, please request one from our Recycling Hotline.

Errata: the bulky item curbside pricing in the printed single family guides reflects the 2019 rates. Correct 2020 pricing is:

  • Sofas - $81.15
  • Mattresses and box springs - $76.00
  • Chairs - $76.00
  • Refrigerator / freezer - $83.78
  • Appliances - $78.56

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).

Local Recycling and Disposal Updates

Solid Waste 2019 Accomplishments and 2020 Work Plan
In 2019, the Solid Waste program was pleased to support waste reduction and reuse by hosting two zero waste talks and our 4th Annual Costume Swap, provide opportunities for the Kirkland community to recycle through free events including two shredding events and ten Styrofoam recycling events, assist multifamily residents with recycling, and require that businesses in Kirkland have recycling available, among other accomplishments.

Looking forward to 2020, the Solid Waste work plan includes helping businesses that don't have enough recycling add more (for free), promoting the new statewide paint stewardship program when it takes effect (tentatively fall/winter 2020), and hosting more recycling events for the community, including four shredding events (up from two in 2019).

waste hierarchyNew Webpages with Waste Reduction Resources
As we put more emphasis on reducing waste in our community, not just recycling it, we've added a new section to our website! Learn why it's important to reduce your waste and how you can make less waste and reuse more.

Policy News
Policy Development for Single Use Food Service Ware
The Solid Waste Division presented introductory research and initial policy routes for addressing single use food service ware and polystyrene food packaging 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 have conducted further research and are currently preparing a supplementary report and proposed ordinance for Council to consider in 2020.

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
Engineering
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