County institutes new recycling rule at Houghton Recycling & Transfer Station

Increased recycling will cut waste, fight climate change, save landfill space.

  • Friday, December 22, 2017 11:53am
  • News

Starting Jan. 2, 2018, self-haul customers at the Houghton Recycling & Transfer Station will be asked to separate cardboard from their garbage and place empty cardboard boxes in the marked cardboard recycling bin outside the facility.

The King County Solid Waste Division is instituting the change at transfer stations county wide in an effort to help cut waste and reduce the amount of recyclable materials brought to King County landfills, according to a City of Kirkland press release. Other county transfer stations that accept a wider array of recycled materials than the Houghton transfer station will follow the new guidelines and customers will be asked to place selected material including cardboard, scrap metal, yard waste and clean wood (unpainted, untreated lumber, pallets and crates) in designated containers. These materials were selected because they comprise about one third of the total garbage brought to SWD facilities by self-haul customers and because they are easy to keep separate from garbage.

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

Due to space constraints at the Houghton station, recycling services for scrap metal, yard waste or clean wood cannot be provided. Kirkland residents and businesses are welcome to bring scrap metal, yard waste and clean wood to the Factoria or Shoreline recycling and transfer stations. There is no fee charged to recycle cardboard or scrap metal but there is a minimum fee of $12 to recycle up to 320 pounds of yard waste and clean wood. For larger volumes, the cost to recycle yard waste and clean wood is $75 per ton.

At the Houghton station, paper, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles, jugs and tubs and textiles can be recycled at no cost. Cans, bottles and other containers should be empty, clean, and dry (no liquids or food).

Customers can save time by keeping recyclable materials separate from garbage before arriving at the facility.

Here’s another tip: Customers with both recyclable materials and garbage should load their vehicles with recyclable materials first and garbage last. Then, at the facility, customers can have their vehicles weighed, unload their garbage, pay the garbage fee, and then drop off their recyclable materials.

“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,” SWD director Pat D. McLaughlin said in the release. “Recycling conserves precious natural resources, including trees, energy and water.”

To learn more about what is accepted at Houghton Recycling & Transfer Station, visit the website or call King County Solid Waste Division at (206) 477-4466.

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