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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 recycle@kirklandwa.gov or (425) 587-3812. Email is preferred while staff are working remotely. If you call, please leave a voicemail with your address and question. We will call you back.
Need recycling help at your business or apartment? We provide free help and resources.
Other issue? See our contact page.

We are hosting safer recycling events this summer! Download the flyer (pdf, 77kb) or see details below.

What You Can Recycle, Compost, and Throw Away

Garbage, recycling, and food + yard waste composting are included in your home curbside collection service. (Businesses and apartments / condos can request free food scrap compost service.) Click the carts for a list of what you can put in each.

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Waste less, recycle right & protect our lake!
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Upcoming events / special dates:
Sign up to get email reminders and updates about recycling eventslinks to external site.

Aug 8 - Safer Shredding Event
Aug 21 - Safer Electronics + Batteries Recycling Event
Aug 22 - Safer Styrofoam Recycling Event
Sept 19 - CRT + Battery Recycling (details to come)
Oct 10 - Recycling Event (details to come)

Download a flyer (pdf, 77kb) with details for all Safer Summer Recycling Events.

What do I do with...?

Extra household recycling is free. Some common items can't be recycled in your household recycling cart but you can drop them off. Here's how you can recycle or dispose common items that aren't accepted in your blue cart or dumpster.

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

safer summer recycling eventsSafer Summer Recycling Events

We are hosting safer summer weekday and weekend recycling events (pdf, 77kb) so residents can recycle tricky items safely.

We designed these events so people can drop off recycling at a safe distance. We're limiting how many items we take at each event so there's no need for sorting and people can move through quickly. We're using a larger location for popular events so vehicles can form a queue as one person is helped at a time.

Safer Event Safety Guidelines
To protect staff, attendees should wear face coverings and remain in their vehicle until it's their turn. You'll be asked to place your items into the containers provided. If you cannot lift items, staff can remove items from your trunk. Please only bring items that a single person can move. If you feel sick, do not attend. Following these safety guidelines will allow us to continue offering these events.

StyroFest Events Cancelled for July and August
We have cancelled the July and August StyroFest events. It wouldn't be possible to meet social distancing requirements at our StyroFest events. Our vendor is not currently offering events like StyroFest anywhere. Instead, residents can attend safer recycling events especially for block Styrofoam where only foam packing blocks and coolers will be accepted. We are also offering separate events for plastic bags and film.

Schedule of Safer Summer Recycling Events

Download the event flyer (pdf, 77kb) with all event details.

Sign up to get email reminders and updates about events.links to external site

These events are open to Kirkland residents and businesses. Please follow the safety guidelines and expect a wait. Due to the unpredictable nature of the current situation, events may be changed or cancelled with little notice. We will post event changes on this page as soon as possible, if they occur. Questions? Email recycle@kirklandwa.gov.

COVID-19 Recycling Updates

City Hall Recycling Center is Closed, Please Email for Recycling Assistance
City Hall is currently closed to the public and our Recycling Team is working remotely. For the fastest response, we recommend emailing us with your questions. If you call, please leave a voicemail with your address and question, and we will call you back.

City facilities are closed, including the City Hall Recycling Center and community center recycling drop-offs. Please don't leave batteries or other recycling outside of City facilities. (You can still use our community food scrap carts and cooking oil recycling tank because they are outside the buildings.) Instead, please attend our safer recycling events and use next-to-your cart recycling for cell phones. You can also contact us and we'll help you find other places to drop off your items.

Food Scrap BucketWe can mail you a Recycling Guide or drop off a countertop food scrap kit on your doorstep. Simply contact us 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.

Curbside Bulky Waste Collection Resumes Aug. 3
Waste Management had suspended residential curbside bulky waste collection (ex. large TV’s, couches, mattresses) during the spring and early summer. Starting August 3, bulky curbside collection is available again. You can email bulky item requests to pnwrsservices@wm.comlinks to external site to schedule and get pricing. More information is available 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 makes containers harder to recycle and less valuable. Food can become moldy in transit to distant recycling facilities. That's why it's so important to fully empty aseptic cartons like milk cartons or soup boxes. In the past, a lot of America's recyclables were sold to China. To make sure that the material they received was clean enough to recycle, in 2018 China created new rules. Since then, little paper and plastic from the US is clean enough to send to China and is recycled elsewhere.

Do Not Bag Recyclables
do not bag recyclables
no bagged recyclables iconoops tag

Do 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. We used to accept plastic bags -- but then we learned that they jam equipment at the Recycling Center. Plus, recycling in a plastic bag looks like trash, so workers often throw away full plastic bags. Plastic bags are the recycling center's biggest problem! Because of all the problems they cause, we don't take plastic bags in your recycling cart at home anymore.

If your driver sees plastic bags in your recycling cart, they may not collect your recycling. They will leave you an "Oops" tag on your cart explaining the problem. After removing the plastic bags, you can put the recycling out on your next pickup day. If you have too much recycling to fit in your cart after missing a week of pickup, you can put out extra for free. Put out extra recycling in your own can or a cardboard box labeled "recycling" so the right driver gets it.

Beyond Recycling

A New System for Recycling: Extended Producer Responsibility
Right now, when you buy something, you are responsible for disposing it when you're done using it. But what if the companies who make the product and packaging were responsible instead? Extended Producer Responsibility shifts the burden of disposing products from users to manufacturers. It gives companies an incentive to make products and packages that can be recycled. Recycling is cheaper than throwing things away, so companies would want their products to be recyclable. Read how Washington State could switch to Extended Producer Responsibility in this report (pdf, 89 pages, 1.5mb)links to external site.

waste hierarchyWaste Reduction Resources for Residents
We're moving beyond recycling to help residents reduce waste. Learn why it's important to reduce your waste and how you can make less waste and reuse more.

Policy Updates

Plastic Bag Reduction Policy in Effect as of March 1, 2016
Kirkland's plastic bag policy took effect on March 1, 2016. Under the policy, businesses can't provide disposable carryout plastic bags. Kirkland's policy is similar to policies adopted by Seattle, Issaquah, and other cities.

Customers pay five cents for large paper bags at grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and supercenters. As of April 18, 2017, other retailers do not need to charge for paper bags*. Retailers keep all five cents of the bag fee to defray the higher cost of the bags. The City does not receive any of the bag fee.

*Starting in January 2021, new Washington State plastic bag ruleslinks to external site will replace Kirkland's. Businesses should follow Kirkland's bag policy until the State policy takes effect. Under the State policy, businesses can provide thicker plastic bags for a charge. All businesses will need to charge for bags, including those that aren't required to now.

What We Do
The Solid Waste Division manages Kirkland's curbside waste collection service. We also host special recycling events and drop-off locations. Our contracted hauler Waste Management provides collection service. See what happens with your recyclinglinks to external site!

Recycling is important, but we're also promoting the first two R's - reduce and reuse - so Kirkland makes less waste. It's better for the environment to make less waste, even if it could be recycled or composted. Recycling and composting still require energy and water. Reusing something as long as possible instead of getting rid of it avoids using those resources.

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