Waste Prevention

Reduce

Reusable shopping bags
Decorated by Kittitas kindergarteners.

Waste reduction, or "pre-cycling", is an effort to prevent waste before it is created. We can help reduce waste by making careful choices about what we buy, use, and throw away. The following are some pre-cycling tips:

  • Look for items with less packaging or items packaged in recycled materials.
  • Choose durable rather than disposable products.
  • Look for opportunities to reuse items instead of disposing of them.
  • Ask for recycled products to help create a demand for recycled materials.
  • Buy recycled content materials.
  • Use reusable shopping bags.

Recycling in Kittitas County

Each person in Kittitas County discards the equivalent of 5.45 pounds of waste daily. More than 50% of that waste is reusable or recyclable. The loss of natural resources, energy and increasing costs of disposal make home source separating and recycling an important alternative.

In an effort to reduce the large amount of recyclable items (non-liquid, non-hazardous recyclables) that are presently disposed of at the transfer stations, Kittitas County offers a wide array of recycling opportunities at public and private drop-off recycling sites. The following recyclable items are accepted at each of the Kittitas County Transfer Stations in Cle Elum and Ellensburg:

Recycling
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Magazines
  • Tin cans
  • Aluminum cans
  • Plastic pop bottles
  • Plastic milk jugs
  • Glass bottles

Free document shredding

Solid Waste provides residents free confidential shredding of documents. Residents may deposit confidential material in the locked container located at the Solid Waste Office. The material is shredded once a month and taken to Spokane where it is recycled into toilet paper and tissue paper. This service is for household residents of Kittitas County, no business waste. Confidential documents only, no envelopes, magazines, junk mail, or greeting cards. Limit one bag per visit. For business or large amounts of document shredding, call:

Northwest Vital Records: 509-326-9128
Secure Records Solutions: 850-656-6900

How to stop junk mail

Go to top of page...Composting

Kittitas County Solid Waste Compost Facility

In August 2009 Kittitas County Solid Waste opened our new compost facility. The facility is located at the Ellensburg Transfer Station 925 Industrial Way.

Yard waste is accepted at each of the County owned Transfer Stations at a reduced fee if the yard waste is separated from garbage. This material is then ground up and placed into wind rolls. After heat, moister and microorganism, has done the job of breaking the organic material into compost, the compost is screened.

Composting at KCSW    

The new compost can be purchased at $60 a ton. It may be helpful to line your truck bed with a tarp; it helps prevent scratches and makes unloading easier.

Composting is a simple technique that turns organic materials, like yard debris, into a rich soil conditioner that can be used in yards and gardens. The process occurs in nature continually as vegetation falls to the ground and slowly decays. Composting is simply a technique we can use to accelerate this natural process.

For group tours contact us at 509-962-7542.

Natural Yard Care - Five steps to make your piece of the planet a healthier place to live, Washington Department of Ecology publication no. 08-07-064

Go to top of page...Yard Waste Recycling at the Transfer Station

Did you know that 24.3 percent of the total waste stream in Washington State is made up of organic material? Of that percent, 14 percent is food waste, 31 percent is wood waste, and 49 percent is leaves and grass.

Separate, don't contaminate!
Separate, don't contaminate!

You can play an important role in reducing the amount of yard waste that the County must dispose of and save money too! Success of the yard waste program depends largely on public cooperation in providing yard and wood waste that is not contaminated with garbage.

There are many things that contaminate our yard waste pile at the transfer stations: pop cans, metals, hoses, and the worst... plastic bags, to name a few. Yard waste littered with plastic and other debris does not make a marketable product and often causes severe damage to the equipment. Yard waste brought to the transfer station littered with debris and garbage will be charged the full garbage rate.

Yard waste bags

Yard waste bags may be purchased at local Ace Hardware stores and Fred Meyer. They are constructed of heavy duty post-consumer paper designed to take the place of the plastic bags (which are not acceptable in the transfer station yard waste disposal piles). These are great bags, easy to use, and support recycling in a viable way.

Compostable bags

Compostable bags are accepted at our Compost Facility. They can be purchased locally at Cle Elum Farm and Home, and Knudson Lumber.

See Gardening Tips

Curbside Recycling

Curbside recycling is available in a number of different areas throughout Kittitas County. For more information, contact:

Waste Management, Inc.
607 Railroad Avenue
Ellensburg
925-9688

Other Recycling Opportunities

For a directory of other recycling opportunities within Kittitas County, contact the Solid Waste Programs office.

Recycling in Kittitas County flyer

Master Composting Program

Composting is a simple technique that turns organic materials, like yard debris and food scraps, into a rich soil conditioner that can be used in yards and gardens. The process occurs in nature continually as vegetation falls to the ground and slowly decays. Composting is simply a technique we can use to accelerate this natural process.

Kittitas County offers a free Master Composter Workshop to groups by appointment. As a Master Composter, you will receive valuable reference materials and composting tools, learn about composting methods, including composting with red worms, and how to maintain your compost. In turn, you will be asked to devote at least 15 hours sharing your new-found skills with the community, your friends, and acquaintances.

For more information on backyard composting, or on how you can become a Master Composter, contact the Solid Waste Programs office.

Compost bins 

For compost classes, presentations, or other composting information, call 509-962-7542.