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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
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 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:
Nov 1-30 - free yard waste extras for Kirkland single family residents
Dec 7 - StyroFest: Plastic Foam 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

Local Recycling and Disposal News

Photo of Storm Drain LeavesExtra Yard Waste is Free in November
During the month of November, the collection of extra yard waste will be free for single family residences in Kirkland.

Please help us prevent flooding in your neighborhood by cleaning leaves off storm drains and out of streets. Fallen leaves pile up on storm drains on our streets, blocking rainwater from draining, which can lead to localized flooding. City crews work hard to keep storm drains clear of leaves, but with over 12,000 drains in Kirkland, we could use your help!

To participate in this November program, first fill your yard waste cart with leaves and yard debris. Then, place extra yard waste next to your cart in a paper yard waste bag or your own durable container labeled “yard waste.” Do not place yard waste in plastic bags, which are not compostable and will not be picked up. While supplies last, residents may get a free yard waste extra bag at Kirkland City Hall at the Public Works Counter.

During October, yard waste extras will be billed at their usual rate of $5.75 plus tax for each 32-gallon container. Residents who would like to avoid a charge for yard waste extras in October are encouraged to save excess leaves that won’t fit in their cart until November.

The City is subsidizing the cost of yard waste extras during November 2019 and November 2020 as a pilot to evaluate whether providing free yard waste could reduce localized flooding. Although there is no maximum limit, please be reasonable about the amount of material placed out since drivers must manually load them into the trucks.

Please do not rake or blow leaves from your property into the street, which contributes to the risk of flooding.

If severe flooding occurs in your neighborhood, please call our 24/7 hotline at (425) 587-3900 for assistance from a City crew.

Consider leaving the leaves that fall on your lawn or garden instead of raking them. If you mow over leaves on lawn areas a couple times, the small pieces will break down and return nutrients to your soil without the need for fertilizer. Leaves also make a great mulch for vegetable beds and landscape areas. Fallen leaves also provide shelter for beneficial insects in your garden like bees, beetles, and butterflies.

Kirkland Concludes Public Food Scrap Pilot
This fall, we partnered with local students to run a pilot evaluating how well a public food compost container would work in downtown Kirkland. Unfortunately, the public food scrap cart was contaminated with plastic items all four weeks of the pilot, so the cart was removed in mid October. Learn more about the pilot and see photos of the contamination.

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

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