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MF recycle guide cover
Download our 2020 Recycling Guide (pdf, 2.7mb) - email us to request a hard copy

Recycling questions? Contact us at or (425) 587-3812. If you leave a message, please include your question, your phone number, your address, and the name of your property.

Información sobre recolección de reciclaje
Para información en Español: 1 (800) 592-9995
Recomendaciones para reciclaje (pdf)

한국어 / Korean (pdf)
አማርኛ / Amharic (pdf)
Русский / Russian (pdf)
繁體中文 / Chinese (pdf)
Af Soomaali / Somali (pdf)
Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese (pdf)
हिन्दी / Hindi (pdf)

If you're a multifamily property manager, see our Multifamily Toolkit.

What can I put in my blue cart or dumpster?
In your blue recycling cart or dumpster, you can recycle:

Recycle Cart

  • Paper and cardboard (including aseptic cartons - throw away plastic caps)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic bottles, cups, tubs & jugs (screw or snap lids back on)
  • Metal (aluminum/tin cans and scrap metal)
Only recycle the items listed above. These are the only things that we can sort, and that manufacturers want to use to make new products.

Plastics are recycled by shape in Kirkland, so even though an item has the recycling symbol on it, we might not take it. Only plastic bottles, jugs, tubs and cups are accepted. Plastic clamshells and trays should be thrown away. 

We need your help to keep recycling going!

You can help keep recycling going strong by recycling right! The biggest problem for recycling right now is when the wrong things go into the blue cart.

When food and liquid goes in the recycling, it can ruin paper and other recyclables by making them wet or moldy. Plastic bags in your blue dumpster can make paper harder to recycle because the sorting machines can't tell thin plastic from thin paper.

rinse dirty containers before recycling

Everything you put in your recycling should be:

  1. Clean - rinse out dirty items, pour out liquids
  2. Loose - do not put your recycling in plastic bags

Do not put these in your recycling! Our top problem items
These items cause problems at the Recycling Center, and should not go in your recycling cart or dumpster at home:

  • no plastic bags
    No plastic bags
    Our #1 problem!
    Wrap around machinery
  • no bagged recyclables
    No bagged recyclables
    Plastic bags are such a problem they're on here twice!
  • no styrofoam
    No Styrofoam
    Not able to be sorted
    Recycle at our special monthly events
  • no tanglers
    No "tanglers"
    Wires, rope, chain, hoses, string lights
    Wrap around machinery
  • no textiles
    No textiles
    Not able to be sorted
    Recycle at drop-off sites

What about...
Not sure whether something is recyclable? Contact our Recycling Hotline at or (425) 587-3812. You can also check King County’s What Do I Do With... website to see if items can be brought somewhere to be recycled. Please don't "wish-cycle"links to external site items that you want to be recycled but are not on our accepted items list (pdf, 2.7mb).

Drop-Off Recycling Options for Kirkland Residents
For many items that can't go in your complex's recycling, special recycling events and programs allow you to recycle items that are unable to be sorted at the recycling facility.

Drop-Off Recycling Locations In and Around Kirkland

Recycling Collection Events
Periodically, we hold a Special Recycling Collection Event for residents to bring in recyclable materials that are not collected in your recycle carts or dumpsters, such as mattresses, appliances, and electronic peripherals.

Why should I recycle?

  • Recycling helps the environment because items are made into new things instead of sitting unused in the landfill for a lifetime. When items are made with recycled materials, then fewer natural resources need to be mined or extracted from the planet.
  • Our landfill is on pace to fill up in ten years, and once it's full we'll need to either ship our waste somewhere else or build a waste-to-energy facility that harvests energy from burning trash. There may be environmental justice considerations to transporting waste to other communities, and material that is burned would never be able to be recovered.

What happens to my recycling?
Recyclables go to the Cascade Recycling Center in Woodinville where they are sorted and eventually sold to be made into new products. This facility influences what's accepted in your recycling dumpster or carts at your complex, because anything that goes in your recycling needs to be able to be sorted here.

what happens to recycling

I want to recycle more!
Follow our guide to setting up recycling stations at home, to make sure you're recycling in every room and collecting special recyclables for drop-off. Unfortunately, not everything is recyclable. Recycling the right things, and not recycling items that we don't accept, are the most important things you can do to help the recycling system.

Is the recycling always full at your complex? Extra recycling is free — have your property manager or HOA contact Waste Management to increase your service.

Does your property need a hand recycling better? We offer free assistance and may have free resources available, like signs for dumpsters and info for residents. Have your property manager or HOA contact us for free help.

And remember, recycling is great, but reusing and reducing how much waste you make is even better!

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