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New recycling rule starts Jan. 2 at King County transfer stations and drop boxes

Summary

To help cut waste and reduce the amount of easily recyclable or compostable materials brought to the landfill, the King County Solid Waste Division beginning Jan. 2 will no longer accept cardboard, scrap metal, yard waste and clean wood as garbage at its facilities that accept those materials for recycling. Customers will be asked to place those recyclable materials in designated recycling bins or areas.

Story

To reduce waste and save room in the landfill, the King County Solid Waste Division (SWD) beginning Jan. 2 will require customers at solid waste transfer stations and drop boxes to recycle cardboard, scrap metal, yard waste, and clean wood at facilities where the materials can be recycled.

“The items we’re targeting in the new recycling rule account for about one third of what self-haul customers bring to our facilities to be disposed as waste,” said Pat D. McLaughlin, SWD director.

The new rule applies to residents and businesses that haul their own garbage, recyclable and compostable materials to King County transfer stations and drop boxes. Self-haul customers use the public lanes at the transfer stations.

“When recyclable materials are put back into the economy, they help create local jobs while conserving natural resources by reducing the need to create new products from virgin materials,” McLaughlin said.

Self-haul customers will find clearly marked recycling bins and areas for cardboard, scrap metal, yard waste and clean wood at SWD facilities that accept those materials for recycling. Separating recyclable materials from garbage before coming to a station will save customers time.

There will be no change in garbage disposal fees as a result of this recycling requirement. And customers could save money by keeping cardboard, scrap metal, clean wood and yard waste separate from their garbage.

There is no charge to recycle cardboard and scrap metal at the King County facilities that accept those items for recycling. Paper, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles, jugs and tubs, and textiles can also be recycled at no cost.

While there is a fee for recycling yard waste and clean wood (unpainted, untreated lumber, pallets and crates), that fee is 52 percent lower than the garbage disposal fee.
In 2016, recycling at King County transfer stations reduced harmful greenhouse gases by more than 33,000 metric tons, which is the equivalent of removing 7,000 cars from the road.

Learn more about recycling at kingcounty.gov/recycling-transfer.