To reduce waste and save room in the landfill, the King County Solid Waste Division (SWD) beginning Jan. 2 will no longer accept cardboard, scrap metal, yard waste, and clean wood, as trash at selected solid waste transfer stations and will instead require customers to recycle those materials at facilities where they specifically can be recycled.
The Cedar Falls Drop Box serving the Valley is among the transfer stations to require recycling. Residents who use the drop box must sort cardboard and yard waste out of their trash loads. Both cardboard and yard waste can be deposited, in the appropriately marked recycling containers at the facility. Cardboard recycling is free, but there is a fee for yard waste recycling.
“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, Solid Waste Division 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 the Solid Waste Division’s facilities that accept those materials. 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. 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. Paper, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles, jugs and tubs, and textiles can also be recycled at no cost.
There is a fee for recycling yard waste and clean wood (unpainted, untreated lumber, pallets and crates). However, 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.