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Where does it go? Look-up tool for recycling, compost, and garbage


Ever wonder what belongs in the compost bin, recycling bin, garbage bin or the hazardous waste facility? Use this handy Look-up Tool to find out where things like bubble wrap, foil, and electronics go.

Always remember to rinse out bottles and jars and only place clean recyclables in the recycling bin. Dirty recyclables compromise the quality of recyclables and can make your recycle bins smell.

Before composting fruit or vegetables, always remove the stickers and throw them in the garbage. Stickers in the compost bin do not break down and also compromise the quality of compost created.

Here is a quick guide to help you find out what goes where:

Aluminum Foil

Clean aluminum foil and food pans can be recycled in your curbside cart. Please leave foil and food pans open and do not crumple them up. Foil that is food-soiled or dirty cannot be recycled. If food-soiled or dirty, please put them in the garbage and reuse foil whenever possible.

Alkaline Batteries

The Household Hazardous Waste facilities accept alkaline batteries for recycling. Alkaline batteries, including AAA, AA, C, D and 9v, may also go in the garbage.

If you are a business, call the Business Waste Line for disposal options (206) 263-8899. Use rechargeable batteries to reduce waste! Ask about recycling where you buy batteries.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap can go in your recycle cart. Bundle it together in a plastic grocery bag first.

Better yet, reuse packaging materials for holiday gifts! Some mailing and shipping businesses accept bubble wrap and other packing material for reuse (clean, dry and in good condition). Look in the Yellow pages under “Shipping Services”, and call first.

Bread Bags

Reuse or put in the garbage. Do not recycle: Plastic food bags often contain food residue and moisture that contaminate the rest of the plastic material.


E-waste means electronic waste such as unwanted televisions, computers, cell phones and keyboards. (It does not include appliances.)

Residents can recycle televisions, monitors, and computers for free through businesses listed on the Take It Back Network. Some locations may charge a fee for other electronics or peripherals.

Or, call (206) 684-3000 to request curbside e-waste collection service for all items, for a fee.

Computers, laptops, and monitors are banned from the garbage.

Whenever possible, try to reuse what you can. Otherwise, try the Look-up Tool to help you figure out what goes where.