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

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