Seattle Recycling Rules Explained

With the increasing awareness about environmental issues, more and more people have started to recycle. The government makes it easy, by having programs that facilitate the process and even offer incentives. Seattle City Light, for example, will give you a $30 rebate if you recycle your fridge. You can put out used cooking and motor oil for free pick-up and recycling. There are many more!

Now, we know many of you want to help the environment and do your part, but it’s difficult when you don’t know how. So in this blog we will discuss how to recycle some common objects at home. We’ll also go over the Seattle recycling rules, and what you can do about objects you cannot recycle at home. Like fridges and used oil, you’ll find there are lots of things you can recycle really easily! Let’s see how.

child-standing-near-garbage

How To Recycle Paper

It’s easy recycling paper at home, and if you have kids, it’s a fun activity for them to try out. You can recycle all sorts of paper – newspaper, junk mail, printed A4 sheets, phone books, cardboard, even magazines! As long as the paper is easily tearable and doesn’t seem waterproof, it’s okay to recycle. This is because some types of paper are coated with plastic (food wrappers, for instance), which makes them non-recyclable.

Quick note, however – recycling paper is time and energy-consuming, and the result will be somewhere between paper and cardboard, so don’t expect to make notebooks out of it. The process basically entails tearing paper into little pieces, soaking it and making it into a mush, and then flattening this mush out onto a frame and letting it dry.

You can, of course, just take your paper to the dump if you want to help. Large-scale recycling machines do the job a lot more efficiently. The King County website has this useful guide which tells you what to recycle and what to throw out. And of course, Action Junk Removal is always here to help if you need any junk removed!

stack of newpaper to recycle

How To Recycle Plastic

One of the most pressing environmental problems today is that of plastic pollution. There’s a lot of reusable and recyclable plastic out there, and the first step is knowing how to spot it. Reusable plastics are easy – they’re usually labelled as such. Some disposable plastics can be reused as well, as long as you don’t use them for storing food. Containers and bottles, for example, can be repurposed into pen stands, garden pots, tool holders etc.

Now, as for recycling, make sure you pick out recyclable plastics from your trash, and put them in the right bin. Some examples of recyclable plastics include bottles of shampoo, conditioner, cleaning products, detergent and fabric softener; plastic plant pots; plastic cups; and yogurt, dairy and margarine tubs.

Non-recyclable plastics include take-out containers; caps and lids; egg cartons; stretch wrap; motor oil and antifreeze containers; and plastic trays, plates and utensils.

recycled plastic bottles used to grow plants

How To Recycle Electronics

You can’t just put your electronics out at the curb, and transfer stations don’t accept computers, monitors, TVs and cellphones either. For these, you’ll have to go to E-Cycle Washington – which is an organization that specifically recycles electronics in this state.

If you want a simpler solution, get in touch with Action Junk Removal – we’re familiar with Seattle recycling rules, and will take your electronics wherever they need to go.

How To Dispose Of Food

Food is one of the easiest ones. The best thing, of course, would be to buy strategically so nothing goes bad and you don’t end up with extra. But life happens, and sometimes it’s just not your day. If you dropped a burger on the floor or have 3-day old leftovers that aren’t looking too good, you can always consider feeding strays! Dogs, cats, squirrels and birds will be only too happy to have them.

Other than that, you can compost food waste – which we’ll cover in detail in a full-length composting guide. It’s easy to do, and your garden’s plants will be very happy! The only real downside to composting is that the food may attract vermin such as rats. But we’ll tell you how to avoid that problem.

How To Recycle Appliances

We wrote about appliance recycling and disposal in a recent blog, but we’ll take you through the basics once again quickly:

  • Working appliances can be sold or donated
  • Appliances that no longer work can be recycled – you’ll need to do some disassembly if taking them to the city dump, but they take them for free
  • Action Junk Removal can help you get rid of your appliances for a small fee – we’ll haul it, disassemble it, and drop it off at the right place

How To Recycle Hazardous Materials

Many substances – mostly chemicals, or items containing chemicals, such as auto parts or fire extinguishers – need to be taken to the hazardous waste facility. However, something you need to know is that not everything is accepted at a hazardous waste site. Generally, chemicals can be taken to the facility, and containers and electronics cannot. However, here’s a list of what not to take to a hazardous waste site:

  • Empty containers (including aerosol cans)
  • Bullets, ammunition, gunpowder
  • Electronics
  • Contaminated soil
  • Explosives and fireworks (flares are accepted, however)
  • Latex paint
  • Light bulbs
  • Garbage
  • Medical waste – medicines, sharps, or anything else
  • Tires
  • Radioactive waste

Containers over 5 gallons are also not permitted. You can take smaller containers, and the limit is 50 gallons per customer per day.

How To Recycle Glass

Glass bottles and jars of all colors and sizes can be recycled as long as they are not broken. If they are broken, however, they need to be treated as junk. Mirrors, window glass, ceramic dishes and bulbs cannot be recycled – put them in the garbage bin.

Clean, separate, and remove labels of glass. Then take the glass to a designated bin in your area, or your curbside recycling bin.

Checkout our glass recycling guide.

What to Throw Out

Not everything can be recycled. If you want to help, it’s just as important to know what can’t be recycled, so you can make sure you aren’t putting it in the recycling bin. Here are a few examples of items the city doesn’t recycle:

  • Used tissues and paper towels with cleaning solutions (nail polish or make-up removal pads, for example)
  • Styrofoam and packaging peanuts (although these can be reused)
  • Mirrors, window glass, and broken glass
  • Takeout containers, caps and lids (see more in our section on Plastic above)
  • Disposable diapers, ribbons or foil wrapping paper, wax and plastic-coated cardboard, soiled paper and food-soiled food boxes
  • Garden hoses, pet waste and litter
  • Sharp or greasy metal, small appliances (blender, toaster, microwave)
  • Latex paint containers
  • Oil containers
sorted waste recycle more

No Time? No Problem!

If you need cleanup services or need to get rid of a bulky item such as an old stove, contact Action Junk Removal for an easy solution. No need to waste time researching, or to haul and lift heavy appliances. Just tell us what you need done and when would be a convenient time, and we’ll take care of the rest. 

Our services are efficient, affordable and reliable. We’re an environmentally conscious company, and we’ll make sure your recyclables are taken to the right place and the rest is disposed of in a responsible manner. For more info on what we take and what services we offer, check out our website.

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