Become a Recycling Champion

By Clarissa Allen, Resource Conservation Program Coordinator

What do used coffee filters, chicken bones and greasy pizza boxes all have in common? They can all go in your yard waste cart and be turned into compost!

If you’re confused by what goes into the garbage can as opposed to yard waste or recycling, you’re not alone. Did you know that more than half of what King County residents send to the landfill could easily be recycled instead? Improving your recycling chops isn’t just good for the environment – it can be good for your wallet, too!  Sending less waste to the landfill each month can allow you to shrink your garbage can size and your utility bill.

Think you’ve got what it takes to recycle more? See if you can identify which curbside cart (garbage, recycling or yard waste) each of the following items should go into.

teabagUsed Tea Bags

Answer: yard waste cart
The bag portion of your used tea bags can be placed in your yard waste cart, where they’ll be collected and recycled into compost! Most tea bag packaging, though, should be placed in the garbage.

peanutbutterEmpty Plastic Jars 

Answer: recycling cart
Think peanut butter jars – they can go out with the recycling after they’ve been cleaned out. How clean is clean, you ask? A good rule of thumb is if there’s enough peanut butter left in the jar for a sandwich, then it’s not ready to be recycled! Use a spatula, or soak the jar in leftover dish water, to remove most of the peanut butter from the jar before putting it in your recycling bin.


Disposable Cups

Answer: recycling cart
Disposable paper coffee cups go into the recycling cart. Check the inside of the cup – can you see a shiny coating? This plastic coating prohibits most disposable coffee cups from being composted. Rinse the sludge out of the bottom of your paper coffee cup, then toss it into the recycling bin.

Interested in learning more and becoming a recycling champion?

Recycle-more_190x220The King County Master Recycler Composter program is accepting applications. Outgoing individuals who want to inspire others to reduce waste and recycle more. Seattle Tilth will be partnering with King County to provide the educational training and volunteer coordination.

Learn all about the do’s and don’ts of curbside recycling and  food scrap recycling, and then put your training to work through volunteer outreach. This FREE training is open to King County residents outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton only.

Applications due April 18th!

For more information, visit

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