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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206-275-7662
Fax: 206-275-7663
Contact: Ross Freeman
Email: ross.freeman@merce. . .
Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (Mon - Fri)
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City of Mercer Island / Conservation & Sustainability / Recycling, Compost, Garbage

Recycling, Compost, Garbage

NEW: On October 1, 2019, Recology became the City's new provider. The City Council selected Recology for a 10-year contract in December 2018, following a competitve RFP process.  

For all service issues, missed collections, cart sizing, or questions about your account, please call Recology's Mercer Island hotline at 206-381-6980 (Mon-Fri 7:00am-7:00pm, and Sat/Sun 8:00am-5:00pm), or visit them online.

Residential Accounts
View rates and cart sizes here
On Mercer Island, Recology provides curbside recycling/compost/garbage service to all residential addresses.

Apartment and Condo Accounts
View rates and cart/dumpster sizes here
Recology provides garbage-only service.
Recycling is open market and arranged by the building manager.
Compost service can be provided by Cedar Grove Composting

Commercial Accounts
View rates and cart/dumpster sizes here
Recology provides garbage-only service.
Recycling is open market and arranged by the building manager or business owner
Compost service can be provided by Cedar Grove Composting

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. 


Recycling Guidelines Poster

Recycling GuidelinesRecycling is collected every other week; each household receives one cart (32, 64, or 96-gallon) for free.

Mercer Island has been recycling since 1990 and diverts about 65% of waste through recycling and compost programs. 

Visit Recology for a poster of what can and cannot go in the recycling cart.

NOTE: Plastic shopping bags are currently still being collected at QFC supermarkets.

Compost Guidelines Poster

Compost GuidelinesCompost is now collected every week; each household receives one 96-gallon cart for free.

In addition to regular yard waste, ALL food scraps and food-soiled paper can be placed in your compost cart. Collected yard waste is processed locally into garden compost. 

Visit Recology for a poster of what can and cannot go in the yard waste cart. Undecorated and unflocked Christmas trees are now accepted for FREE right at the curb in early January!

NOTE: Extra yard waste (e.g. leaves) can be set out in extra carts or large paper bags for a small fee. Branches or tree limbs over 4 feet long or 4 inches wide must be collected by a tree care company, or you can transport yourself to the Factoria transfer station.

Garbage Guidelines Poster

Garbage GuielinesGarbage is collected every week; each household can decide on the size and number of carts necessary.

By maximizing recycling and composting, many households will find they need a smaller garbage cart. There is now also a "super-diverter" monthly collection option.  

Visit Recology for a poster of what can and cannot go in the garbage cart. 

View rules for hazardous and specialty items here.


Bi-Annual City Recycling Events

Example Recycling Event Flyer - Click for details
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!)

E-Waste Recycling on Mercer Island

E-Cycle Washington 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
HOURS: Call for current hours (typically closed Sat/Sun/Mon)

Recology Dropoff Recycling Center

Recology offers a dropoff storefront in Issaquah, now available to MI residents, that collects some items, such as lightbulbs, styrofoam, etc.

The Mercer Island Recycling Center located near Mercerdale Park was closed in the early 2000's by the Mercer Island School District. 

Special / Bulky Items Recycling

Once each calendar year, Recology offers a FREE, curbside bulky items collection service to Mercer Island residential accounts. Some exceptions apply. Learn more.

For additional information on how to recycle items not listed above call or visit 1-800-RECYCLE.  Click here for general tips on how to Be a Better Recycler.


Hazardous Waste Disposal

Click here for general King County 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 Recology Issaquah storefront, or the Household Hazard Waste section of the Factoria Transfer Station (not open Mondays)

Compact fluorescent bulbs (the curly bulbs known as "CFLs") are also accepted at special dropboxes inside City Hall and the City's Community Center.

Medical Sharps

King County sharps disposal guidance

Pharmaceuticals and OTC Medications

Twice a year (usually 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.

County Transfer Stations

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 for more information. 


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