Skip to main content
Most King County offices will be closed on Monday, November 12, for Veterans Day.  
King County logo
Recycle right - image of family filling recycling curbside cart

Recycle right

King County is home to some of the best recyclers in the nation. Whether at the curb or at transfer stations and drop boxes, King County residents continue to benefit both the environment and the economy by recycling their plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, and metal cans. No matter what, we should all keep recycling and always recycle right.

Empty, clean, and dry - image showing a glass jar at all three stages

Empty, clean, and dry

One of the easiest ways to recycle right is to make sure what you're putting in the recycling bin is empty, clean, and dry. Food and liquids in recyclables can allow mold to grow, which make the materials unacceptable for recycling. Containers that previously contained food or liquid should be rinsed to remove food and liquid residue. Shake out excess liquid and air dry.

When putting recycling in your curbside bin, make sure you don't overfill the bin and keep the lid shut tight. Overflowing bins or open lids make it more likely for rain or other water to get in and ruin the recycling.

What to recycle - image of mixed materials for recycling

What to recycle

As long as they are empty, clean, and dry, you should always recycle:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic bottles, jugs, and tubs
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metal cans.
When in doubt, find out - image of recycling carts. Contact your local hauler to learn which materials are accepted for recycling.

When in doubt, find out

Recycle only materials that are accepted by your city's recycling company. When in doubt, find out. Check your local recycling guidelines to ensure you're putting the right materials in your recycle cart. You can learn more about recycling in your area by checking with your city, or find your recycling company by using the following drop-down:

Loading...
Why recycle? Image of milk jugs, which are recycled into new products

Why recycle?

Recycling is one of the most important things we can do benefit both the environment and the economy. Recycling allows existing items to be made into new products. Making products from recycled content decreases the need to extract new materials, such as petroleum, wood, minerals, and water from the environment. Keep recyclables out of the garbage to ensure they are made into new products instead of wasting away in a landfill.

Waste prevention - image of junk mail and catalogs.

Waste prevention

Waste prevention is another way to conserve resources, your time, and your money, and there are many easy ways to prevent waste.

Opting out of paper mailings and paper bills is a good first step to decreasing the amount of waste paper you generate. There are several services available locally that allow you to opt out of junk mail external link , phone books, credit card offers external link and catalogs external link . Choose e-billing where available.

Choosing reusable items over single-use/disposable ones is another great way to prevent waste. Bringing your own bag for groceries to the store, bringing your own utensils for meals on the go, using a refillable water bottle or bringing your own cup are all ways to decrease the amount of waste you generate. These small changes add up over time.

Contact Us

 Call: 206-477-4466

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0197

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal