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  1. Is recycling mandatory?
  2. Why does recycling cost businesses money? It used to be free or even used to pay.
  3. How is business recycling different than residential recycling?

1. Is recycling mandatory?
Recycling is not mandatory in King County (outside the City of Seattle). Some cities have free business recycling incorporated into their contracts with the garbage hauler, and it is easy to take advantage of these. To find your city's recycling coordinator, use the drop down menu on the Garbage & Recycling Services page and select your city from the list.

2. Why does recycling cost businesses money? It used to be free or even used to pay.
As recycling has gotten more popular, markets for the material have been flooded, and it's harder for recyclers to find someone to take the materials off their hands. If the material can't be used locally, it has to be stored until a local vendor can be found or has to be shipped and used somewhere else. All this costs money, and there are a lot of risks involved because the markets change from week to week. Also, the recycler has all the same costs for equipment, employees and hauling as the garbage company, with the added costs of sorting, baling and selling. Even so, recycling is cheaper than disposal, creates jobs, diverts waste from the landfill and brings materials back into the manufacturing industry.

3. How is business recycling different than residential recycling?
If you are a business, recycling is considered a commodity and a service that is a contract between your business and a hauler. Residential recycling is regulated by city or local government, but business recycling is not. Therefore, the business has to organize this service.

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