How To Get There > Curbside Composting: Kirkland, Washington, USA

Curbside Composting: Kirkland, Washington, USA

Kirkland, Washington

Kirkland added food scraps to its existing yard waste service and all households receive weekly collection of yard waste and food scraps as part of their standard trash and recycling services.

Action(s) Taken

  • Composting policies

Population

49,800

Overview

The City of Kirkland was the first city in Washington State to offer food waste composting to residents. The city added food scraps to its existing curbside yard waste collection in 2003. All single-family residents receive weekly collection of yard waste and food scraps and weekly recycling at no additional charge as part of their standard trash service.

Kirkland embraced composting as part of its larger sustainability plan and commitment to preserve, protect, and maintain its natural resources. The county is also facing a shortage of landfill space and rising costs for landfilling.

All food scraps are accepted in the program as well as all yard trimmings. Certified compostable bags and approved compostable containers (as determined by the composter, Cedar Grove) are also accepted. The materials are processed by the Cedar Grove Composting Everett Facility.

Residential Composting Service

All residents receive recycling and composting service at no charge as part of their standard trash service. Recycling and compost are collected weekly.

Extra organics and yard waste that don’t fit in the standard 96-gallon composting carts are picked up for $5 per 32-gallon container.

Trash can be collected weekly or monthly and cart sizes vary from 10 gallons up to 96 gallons. The pricing is based on pay-as-you-throw rates so larger trash carts cost more money.

The city provides free kitchen composting buckets and sample compostable bags for residents. Composting and recycling guidelines are available in six languages: Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Somali.

The city contracts with a private hauler for all recycling, composting and trash services for both residents and businesses.

Multi-family and Business Composting

Compost collection is also available to multi-family properties if the property meets these conditions:

  • Discussed program with property manager, HOA, or condo association and received approval
  • Had a walkthrough of the property with a City representative
  • Has a recycling rate of over 50% (city calculations)
  • Has at least 10% of the complex’s residents interested in participating
  • Has at least two residents willing to be Conservation Leaders willing to attend an on-site training with City staff, conduct resident outreach and education, or check for contamination

The city began offering composting collection to MFUs in 2008 starting with a pilot program at 6-8 properties.

Composting is also available to businesses if the business:

  • Has a recycling rate of at least 50% (city calculations)
  • Will arrange a walkthrough of the business with City representative
  • Has at least 25% of its employees interested in participating
  • Has at least two employees willing to be the contact for the Composting program, conduct employee outreach and education, and check for contamination

There were 80 businesses and organizations participating in the composting program in 2013.

Results

Kirkland residents recover 65% of their discards, making them a leading community in Washington State and the US. In 2012 residents composted more than 15,000 tons of food and yard scraps, and recycled more than 7,600 tons. More than 97% of residents set out their composting cart, outperforming both recycling and trash set-out rates.

The city recovers more than 40% of its total discards including multi-family and commercial sectors.

Downloads

Kirkland Composting Guide

Kirkland 2011 Waste Managment Annual Report

More Information

Recycling and Composting in Kirkland, WA

Cedar Grove Composting Center

Waste Management for Kirkland, WA

City of Kirkland Solid Waste Divisions Blog

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