Skip to main content
Mobile Navigation Icon
Twitter YouTube Print E-mail a friend this page Share this page

Trash, Recycling & Compost

The June 6 StyroFest event is cancelled. We are evaluating options for safe recycling drop-off opportunities later this summer. Stay tuned!

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. Watch a video of what happens with your recyclinglinks to external site here!

kirkland-conserves-logo
Waste less, recycle right & protect our lake!
twitter sm  Twitter | facebook sm  Facebook | email  Monthly Email

Upcoming events / special dates:
June 6 - CANCELLED - StyroFest Styrofoam Recycling Event

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

Composting Food Waste is the Best Choice for the Environment
Composting food instead of throwing it away is a simple change your household can make to reduce your environmental impact. It might not seem like a little bit of food would make much of an impact, but because food waste can either contribute to climate change or help fight it! And what might seem like a little food uneaten at each meal adds up - the average American household doesn't eat a quarter of the food they buy!

When you put food scraps in your gray food+yard waste cart, they are turned into compost in a matter of weeks. Compost returns nutrients to the soil, helping plants grow better, and also stores carbon in the groundlinks to external site. While it's best not to waste food in the first place, composting food scraps gives them a use. The typical household's food and yard waste scraps produce 5 cubic yards of compost each year - enough to fill 5 hot tubs!

In comparison, food that goes to the landfill decomposes through a different process that releases methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. Although King County's landfill has a system to capture methane gaslinks to external site, not producing it in the first place would be a better option - especially considering the many other benefits of compostlinks to external site!

Curbside Bulky Waste Collection Temporarily Suspended Due to Coronavirus
Waste Management has temporarily suspended residential curbside bulky waste collection (ex. large TV’s, couches, mattresses) in order to maintain social distancing for their workers. Bulky waste collection requires there to be two workers in a vehicle in order to pick-up, carry, and load these heavy items. Other curbside services WM offers that only require one worker, such as electronics, textiles, and motor oil collection, are not affected and will continue to be offered as normal. You can find updates on WM's service alert pagelinks to external site.

Help Keep Recycling Going Strong!
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 started requiring that recyclable paper and plastics be much cleaner than before.

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

A New System for Recycling: Extended Producer Responsibility
What if companies that produced products were responsible for what happens to them when they need to be disposed? Extended Producer Responsibility is a framework that shifts the cost burden of disposing products from consumers to producers, which encourages producers to make packaging and products that are easier and cheaper to dispose of. Learn how Washington State could adopt this new system to make recycling more sustainable in this report (pdf, 89 pages, 1.5mb)links to external site.

waste hierarchyWaste Reduction Resources for Residents
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

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.

A new Washington State plastic bag policylinks to external site will supersede Kirkland's policy beginning in 2021.

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