Yard waste, including food scraps and food-soiled paper, comprises one of the most valuable resources in King County. Collected curbside from residents and from commercial businesses by private haulers, the material is recycled locally into compost, a valuable resource for use by home gardeners, institutions and local parks.
Curbside yard waste collection services
City and county ordinances prohibit yard waste from curbside garbage collection.
Yard waste collection at the curb is available to most customers as part of their garbage collection service. An additional fee is charged for this hauler service which is provided by the private solid waste management companies. Leaves, grass, brush, prunings, yard clippings, twigs and branches are accepted at the curbside.
Residential (and commercial) yard waste in King County is turned into compost at Cedar Grove Composting (external site), one of the largest compost facilities in North America.
In many areas of King County you also can recycle your food scraps and food-soiled paper in your yard waste cart . For more information, contact your local service provider. Use the drop-down menu below to find the service provider for your area.
Garbage & Recycling
Yard waste recycling at King County recycling and transfer stations
Yard waste recycling is available at the Bow Lake, Enumclaw, Shoreline and Vashon recycling and transfer stations and the Cedar Falls Drop Box.
Leaves, grass, brush, clippings, and branches less than four inches in diameter and eight feet in length are accepted at a rate lower than the garbage disposal fee.
No stumps, dimensional lumber, rocks, dirt or sod, demolition debris or plastic is accepted as yard waste. No glass, metal, or plastic can be included in yard waste. Containers, including plastic bags, used for transport must be emptied and taken home for disposal or reuse.
Yard waste recycling fee
Check disposal fees for a complete list of current fees.
- Minimum fee: $12 per entry all vehicles Covers up to 320 pounds.
- Per ton fee: $75
- If yard waste loads are mixed with garbage or other debris, the entire load will be charged at the higher garbage rate.
- Loads must be secured. A secured load is a load of material that has been tied, tarped, secured or covered in the vehicle in a manner that will prevent any material from leaving the vehicle while the vehicle is in motion. Any vehicle arriving at a public or private transfer station or landfill in King County with unsecured loads can be charged an unsecured load fee of $25.
Private-Sector Yard Waste Services
Many private companies accept other types of yard waste including brush, trees, stumps, landclearing debris and untreated wood. These items are also recycled into valuable compost. Some companies can pick up materials on the job site and/or provide containers for larger jobs. Others have facilities where materials can be dropped off by the customer. Visit the What do I do with…? Web site for a complete list of private sector companies that will accept your yard waste for recycling.
Compost in Your Backyard
Turn some of your yard waste into valuable compost to use in your garden beds. Compost also supports the soil food web (external), which filters air and water as it percolates through, supports healthy plant roots and traps pollutants such as heavy metals and pesticides. Healthy soil is the first step of the popular five-step natural yard care program.
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