Recycling, Solid Waste, Yard Waste
NEW: In December 2018, the City Council selected a new recycling, garbage, and organics hauler following a competitve RFP process. Recology will start a new 10-year contract, with new services and rates, in October 2019. Learn more about their rates here.
Until the end of September 2019, Residential recycling, solid waste, and yard/food waste collection on Mercer Island is provided through a long-term contract with Republic Services (previously known as Allied Waste), and is administered by the Public Works Director. Republic also offers garbage and recycling service to the Island's businesses, and multi-family complexes, but these contracts do not directly involve the City.
|Recycling Tips - Click for latest details|
Note: Republic Services does not offer yard waste/food waste service to commercial properties on Mercer Island. However, the City encourages all commercial properties, especially multi-family apartment buildings and restaurants, to offer this service to tenants and customers. Businesses interested in arranging collection of these materials should contact Cedar Grove Composting, or call 1-877-994-4466
All Island residents receive a garbage, recycling, and yard waste can upon opening an account with Republic. Garbage rates vary by size of can, while recycling and yard waste are included free of charge.
Mercer Island residents do a great job of recycling and achieve one of the highest diversion rates in King County at 65%!
In the spring of 2018, China tightened its contamination standards for mixed paper, and other items from the West Coast of the USA, that it processes for recycling. Residents should continue their recycling practices, with added effort to ensure items are EMPTY, CLEAN, and DRY. Learn more from this City news release.
To reach Republic's Customer Service, or to report missed collections, call (206) 682-9730
Learn about residential rates for MI on Republic's rates page.
Read the winter weather policy here.
To learn more about Republic's commercial service options, call (425) 646-2492
Republic Services Solid Waste Program
Garbage is collected weekly on the Island - check your collection day here.
Please bag all garbage and follow these solid waste guidelines.
Still have questions? Try their FAQ
For large volumes of junk, garbage, broken furniture, or excess yard waste, residents may wish to visit a local transfer station (see below), or hire a junk hauler.
The Island's residential recycling program has been one of the region's most successful since its inception in 1990. Island residences annually divert more than 60 percent of their waste through the curbside recycling and yard waste programs.
Republic Services Recycling Program
Recycling can significantly reduce the amount of garbage you put out for collection, which will likely help reduce your garbage bill by using a smaller garbage can. For a complete list of what can and cannot go in the recycling cart, follow these recycling guidelines. NOTE: Plastic Shopping bags are currently still being collected at QFC.
Every MI residential account is eligible for free curbside recycling, it is collected every other week on the same day as your garbage.
Still have questions? Try Republic's FAQ
Watch an old Recycling Video on YouTube
Republic Services Yard / Food Waste Program
In addition to your regular yard waste such as grass, leaves, weeds and prunings, you can also put food scraps and food-soiled paper in your yard waste cart. This includes: fruits & vegetables, bread, pasta, grains, eggshells, nutshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags and pizza delivery boxes, paper towels and napkins and even meat, fish, bones, poultry, and dairy products. Collected yard waste is processed into compost and sold at home and garden stores. For a complete list of what can and cannot go in the yard waste cart, follow these yard waste guidelines.
Every MI residential account is eligible for up to three 96-gallon rolling cans for free. It is collected every other week on the same day as your garbage, and alternating with recycling.
Note: additional amounts of yard waste (e.g. leaves) must be set out in PAPER yard waste bags, which are collected for a small fee. If you have large branches or tree limbs, these can be removed by a tree care company, or you can transport yourself to the Factoria transfer station.
Still have questions? Try Republic's FAQ
Bi-Annual City Recycling Events
The Island sponsors two special collection events each year, the Spring Recycling Event and the Fall Recycling Event. A variety of "hard to recycle" items are collected at these free events, which are funded through King County grants. Watch for announcements on the City's homepage; click here to learn what's accepted (it's very comprehensive!)
|Example Recycling Event Flyer - Click for details|
Electronic Waste Recycling on Mercer Island
E-Cycle Washington is a new program that provides responsible recycling of computers, monitors and TVs in our state. As of January 2009, electronics manufacturers in Washington will take responsibility for recycling these products.
Mercer Island now has a FREE E-Cycle Washington location for recycling of computers, computer monitors, laptops, DVD players, and televisions.
NAME: E-recycle MI
LOCATION: 7835 SE 30th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040
PHONE: 206-230-8188 (call for current hours)
HOURS: 10:00am-5:00pm Tues-Fri; Closed Sat/Sun/Mon
Special / Bulky Items Recycling
For information on how to recycle items not listed above, call or visit 1-800-RECYCLE.
Click here for tips on how to Be a Better Recycler.
Mercer Island Recycling Center
The Mercer Island Recycling Center located near Mercerdale Park has been closed by the Mercer Island School District.
Hazardous Waste Disposal
Click here for general information on how to safely dispose or recycle household hazardous waste.
Some Hazardous Waste (e.g. fluorescent tubes and batteries) can be taken to the Household Hazard Waste section of the Factoria Transfer Station. (Not open Mondays)
Compact fluorescent bulbs (the curly bulbs known as "CFLs"), and rechargeable batteries, are accepted at special dropboxes inside City Hall, open 8:30am-5:00pm, Mon-Fri.
Republic Services sharps mail-in program
King County sharps disposal guidance
Pharmaceuticals and OTC Medications
Once or twice a year (spring and fall) the MI Police Department organizes a free, anonymous, Drug Take-Back Day in partnership with the federal DEA. Watch the homepage news column or our social media sites for announcements. Click here for an example flyer from a recent event.
The nearest transfer station to Mercer Island is in Factoria, and it accepts all types of garbage and junk (for a fee), excess yard waste and tree limbs, and a wide range of recyclables for free, seven days a week. More information available here.
Other nearby transfer stations that accept a more limited range of recycling are in Renton and Kirkland/Houghton. More information available here.
What do I do with...?
Is a database that contains listings of hundreds of businesses and organizations that accept unwanted items from residents and businesses in King County, Washington, for reuse, recycling or proper disposal. To begin, click here.
The City of Mercer Island is committed to waste reduction, recycling, yard/food composting, and many other sustainable practices for a healthy environment. Please visit www.mercergov.org/sustainability for more information.