Report: Big increase in recycling at King County transfer stations, drop boxes in 2016

  • Sunday, March 12, 2017 8:30am
  • News

Thanks to an expansion of recycling services and an increase in customers with sorted recyclable and compostable materials, recycling volumes at King County Solid Waste Division recycling and transfer facilities and drop boxes jumped by 41 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

The division handled 25,560 tons of separated recyclable and compostable materials in 2016, exceeding its goal of 24,000 tons.

“Employees and customers working together have made great progress toward our ultimate goal of zero waste of resources,” said Pat McLaughlin, director of the King County Solid Waste Division.

“The gains we made in 2016 kept valuable resources out of the landfill and put them back into the economy. By doing this, we cut greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 7,000 vehicles from our roadways,” McLaughlin said.

Yard waste – including branches, grass clippings, leaves, weeds and holiday trees – accounted for half of the total tons diverted from the landfill at King County recycling and transfer facilities in 2016.

Scrap metal comprised 14 percent of the diverted tonnage, followed by clean wood (lumber, pallets and crates) at 12 percent of the total. Cardboard made up 10 percent, and an additional 12 percent of diverted recyclable materials included paper, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, and plastic containers that can be commingled in designated recycling bins at division facilities.

Types of recyclable and compostable materials accepted differ by facility, and many materials can be recycled at no charge. While fees are charged for large appliances, clean wood, and yard waste, those fees are lower than the garbage fee.

Before going to a recycling and transfer station facility or drop box, visit to select a specific facility and find out what recyclable materials are accepted at each location, learn more about recycling, and check the length of lines at each station. Customers also can call King County Solid Waste Division customer service at 206-477-4466.

Since 70 percent of the materials still going into our landfill could have been reused, recycled or composted, King County residents and businesses are encouraged to sort recyclable and compostable materials and to use the recycling services provided at King County facilities. Get more information at

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

Virtual town halls coming up for unincorporated King County

Events throughout September and October via Zoom will cater to different areas of the region.

A vacant building that went up in flames Aug. 27 at the corner of Pacific Highway S. and S. 279th St. in Federal Way. Fire investigators declared the blaze to be an arson. Photo courtesy of South King Fire Commissioner Bill Fuller
Renton man possibly connected to Federal Way arsons

Officers found several lighters and butane fuel in his possession while arresting the man on Aug. 28.

Stock photo
Renton woman pleads guilty to purchasing firearms for ‘violent street gangs’

According to case records, a 41-year-old Renton woman provided the guns to her son, who modified them and sold them to gang members

A view of the Palmer Fire, located seven miles southwest of Oroville in north central Washington. Source: InciWeb
Antifa isn’t starting Washington wildfires

Online conspiracy theories are spreading as the West Coast burns.

A plane drops fire retardant on the Palmer Mountain Fire last week. The fire is listed as 84 percent contained, and fully lined. Laura Knowlton/Sound Publishing staff photo
Threat multiplier: How climate change, coronavirus and weather are scorching WA

Dry summer conspired with the pandemic and a wind storm.

Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Massive wildfires incinerate WA

All state Department of Natural Resources lands were closed to recreational activities on Sept. 8.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

I-5 closures near Federal Way this week for Sound Transit construction

Two lanes of I-5 will be closed overnight Sept. 9 and 10.

Most Read