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Auburn Recycling Tip: What to do with the big, toxic items

There’s a country band called “Big & Rich,” but today we’re going to talk about the “Big and Scary” – How do you dispose of the big, bulky items or toxic stuff you can’t set out on the curb?

To start with, when it comes to waste disposal and recycling, one of your best friends should be King County’s “What Do I do With…?” website. It lists locations that will recycle or properly dispose of the big or scary stuff and more. Here is some additional helpful info about those items:

  • Failed furniture. If furniture is usable, try giving it away on Craigslist or Freecycle. If it’s beyond repair, you’ll probably need to take it to the transfer station for disposal.
  • Bulky bedtime. Mattresses are a problem disposal item. Mattresses can be recycled at A Plus Removal & Recycling in Auburn (253-737-4441) for $15 per piece or watch for the King County Fall and Spring Recycling Events, where you can recycle your mattress for $10 per piece. More mattress recycling options are currently available to bed dealers, so when you buy a new mattress, tell them you want your old one recycled. Recycling locations can be found at “What Do I Do With…?’ website and Collection Event Information can be found at www.auburnwa.gov/solidwaste under Upcoming Events.
  • Called on the carpet. This is another tough one, and as with mattresses, the carpet industry needs to do a better job of providing recycling locations for the public. You will have a little easier time recycling foam carpet padding. Check “What Do I Do With…?” for locations.
  • Appliances. The recycling outlook is better for these big guys, since there is a decent market for scrap metal. King County’s “What Do I Do With…?” website has plenty of options.
  • Hold the mercury. Items with mercury should not go in the garbage. Take these items to the Household Hazardous Wastemobile at the Outlet Collection | Seattle mall, 1101 SuperMall Way (between Nordstrom Rack & Sports Authority). Open every Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm. The Local Hazardous Waste website will help guide you to disposal information for many other products that potentially contain hazardous waste. Questions? Call 206-296-4692.
  • Know your paint. Latex paint can be hardened and put in the garbage, but oil paint needs to go to the Household Hazardous Wastemobile at the Outlet Collection | Seattle facility, (open every Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM).
  • Get unplugged. Many electronic products contain hazardous waste, but fortunately Washington State has a product stewardship program that covers the cost of recycling for computers and TVs. Go to the e-cycle website for more information.

See, they aren’t really that big and scary after all! Thanks for helping to make the City of Auburn a cleaner, greener place.

Information provided by Tom Watson in the King County Solid Waste Division and the City of Auburn Solid Waste & Recycling Division.