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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Solid waste disposal in King County

Abandoned landfill studies

There were two studies of abandoned landfills published in the mid-1980s. One covers the some of the abandoned landfills in the City of Seattle and the other covers some of those in the rest of King County. They can be downloaded here:

Animal carcasses (not exposed to disease causing germs)
  • Dispose of individual dead animals weighing less than 15 pounds in the household garbage.

  • Dead animals weighing more than 15 pounds (or large numbers of dead animals) should be taken to a rendering plant, veterinary clinic, animal shelter, or pet cemetery, or buried on the owner's property. If none of these methods are available, dead animals will be accepted at the Cedar Hills Landfill when accompanied by an approved Waste Clearance Decision Form.

  • More info on animal carcasses from Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks
Batteries (household)

Household batteries are dry cell batteries like alkaline (AA, AAA, D), nickel -cadmium, small lead, lithium and button cell batteries.

Batteries (motor vehicle)
Biomedical waste
  • King County solid waste facilities accept biomedical waste from medical facilities only when it has been treated according to the standards set by Public Health - Seattle & King County.
  • Generally, biomedical waste must be treated by steam sterilization, incineration, or other approved methods.
  • Any commercial generator of biomedical waste must dispose of sharps with a licensed biomedical waste transporter or approved treatment method.
  • For King County, home generated hypodermic needles and syringes may be disposed in the regular household garbage provided that they are contained in a two (2) liter clear P.E.T. plastic pop bottle. Put tape over the closed bottle cap when the bottle is full. Label container with the warning:


  • In the City of Seattle containerized sharps cannot go in your garbage. Take containers to the North or South Transfer Station and dispose of them for FREE.
  • Other Ideas: Check with your pharmacy or physician for other programs.
  • Learn more about biomedical waste.
Demolition waste
  • Demolition waste includes (but is not limited to) concrete, brick, wood, masonry, roof and roofing materials, shakes, shingles, linoleum, glass, dirt, gravel, steel, aluminum, copper, galvanized or plastic piping, sheet rock, plaster, pallets, asphalt floor tile, and carpeting.
  • Demolition waste does not include dangerous or extremely hazardous waste, liquid waste, regular garbage, sewage waste, animal carcasses, chemical waste, petroleum waste, or asbestos.
  • King County solid waste facilities will accept demolition waste under the following conditions:
    • Wood, brick, and cement demolition waste can be recycled. The following waste management firms will accept these materials: Rabanco, Waste Management, Black River Quarry, and Eastmont. Check the telephone directory for telephone listings for these firms.

  • More info on demoliton materials from King County Solid Waste Division
Dusty materials

Dusty materials include sheetrock dust, silicone dust, sawdust, fiberglass dust, or any other waste which becomes airborne when unloaded. The King County Division of Solid Waste has issued the following guidelines for disposal of dusty materials:

    • Loads delivered to Cedar Hills must be accompanied by a Waste Clearance Decision Form (See item #19 below).
    • For additional information, call the Waste Characterization phone number at 206-296-4633.
Fuel tanks
  • Fuel tanks are accepted for disposal only at the Cedar Hills landfill.
  • They must be accompanied by a Waste Clearance Decision Form (See item #19 below).
  • Tanks which once held acutely hazardous waste must be accompanied by a receipt or certification from a hazardous waste handler stating that the tank has been cleaned.
  • Before disposal, tanks must be emptied and both ends removed or punctured with several holes.
Household hazardous waste
  • Household hazardous waste includes: cleaning agents, pesticides, solvents, motor fuels, crankcase oil, oil-based paints, wood preservatives, banned or restricted-use pesticides, and chemicals used for a) home repair and remodeling, b) auto, boat, and equipment maintenance, and c) hobby and recreational use.
  • Use up hazardous household products completely before disposing of empty containers.
  • If materials cannot be used, dispose of them at a designated household hazardous waste facility such as the Wastemobile, the Factoria Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Facility or the Seattle Hazardous Waste Facilities. Call the Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, Monday through Friday except holidays, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for information on these facilities.
  • Visit the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program website for additional disposal options.
Human fecal waste
  • Dispose of human fecal waste in the public sanitary sewer or in an approved on-site sewage disposal system.
  • Disposable diapers, adult incontinence products, and other materials contaminated with feces may be thrown out in the regular garbage if they are placed in a sealed plastic bag.
Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping is the dumping solid waste onto the surface of the ground or into the waters of the state, except at a permitted disposal site. It's known in the regulations as "unlawful" dumping. Solid waste includes garbage, rubbish, abandoned vehicles or parts, demolition and construction waste, recyclable materials, etc.

Major appliances
  • Major appliances or "white goods" include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, stoves, water heaters, washers, and dryers.
  • Many businesses recycle these appliances.  Visit the King County Solid Waste Division website for "What do I do with...?" or call 206-296-4466 for information on recycling of major appliances. 
  • The Seattle transfer stations and some King County transfer stations also accept major appliances.
Motor oil
Motor vehicles and vehicle parts
  • Vehicles or vehicle spare parts are not accepted for disposal at King County solid waste facilities.
  • These may be taken to salvage or wrecking yards.
  • If a vehicle cannot be salvaged, it may be screened for disposal at a landfill by the King County Solid Waste Division. Call 206-296-4418 for a Waste Clearance Decision.
  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle must be provided.
  • More info on motor vehicles and parts from King County Solid Waste Division
Oversized wood
Propane tanks

King County, residents can put empty canisters less than two pounds such as the small coleman canisters into the garbage.  Canisters with gas or larger canisters including the five gallon propane barbeque tanks can be taken to the household hazardous waste facilities.  Visit the Household Hazardous Waste website for information on these sites.  For propane tanks larger than these barbeque tanks, call the Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except holidays, for disposal options.

No propane barbeque tanks are accepted at either the Seattle or King County transfer stations.

Empty disposable helium tanks such as those used for balloons can be disposed of in the garbage. For full or partially full tanks use up or vent first by turning the valve all the way to the left. Then place tank in the garbage. For larger helium tanks call the Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692 for disposal options.

Televisions and computer monitors

Television screens and computer monitors use Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) which contain lead that is hazardous.


Tires are not considered hazardous waste and are not accepted at the hazardous waste drop-off sites. Instead, take them to your nearest Transfer Station

Waste Clearance Request Form

Public Health - Seattle & King County's Waste Characterization Program reviews questionable waste generated in King County that is destined for disposal as municipal solid waste. The goal of the program is to keep dangerous wastes out of the solid waste stream. They determine whether a waste is dangerous or not by using information supplied by the generator, from lab analyses, MSDS's and other available information. Typical wastes reviewed include contaminated soil, sludges, expired or off-spec products and chemicals, filters, blasting/grinding wastes, empty containers, and manufacturing wastes.

The dangerous waste regulations, WAC 173-303, are the primary criteria used to designate wastes. However, the solid waste facilities clearances are issued for have policies excluding certain wastes or requiring special handling. An example of this is a dusty waste that would require special handling to minimize exposure to the workers and the public.

Waste characterization staff assist generators with profiling their waste and determining if the waste can be disposed of in the garbage. For some wastes staff will be able to provide other options such as treatment, recycling or reuse. Generators should complete the two page Waste Clearance Application and submit it to the Health Department with the appropriate data, via email, fax or the postal service. For questions on testing requirements, or further clarification, call them at 206-263-8528 or email them to

To request a clearance form, download the Waste Characterization Form (PDF). Fill in the blanks of the form then email it to or print it and mail it in to Environmental Health Division, Solid Waste - Waste Characterization , 401 5th Avenue, Suite 1100, Seattle, WA 98104.

Solid Waste Permit applications

For questions about the following applications, please call Environmental Health Services for assistance at 206-263-9566:

Contact us

Questions about solid waste in King County? Call us at 206-263-9566.