Waste

We've compiled information regarding waste, recycling and composting in the Wenatchee area. We're in the beginning stages of creating a directory that will offer an easy search feature. Stay tuned!

Check out the recording of a panel discussion on The Story of Plastic, recorded in summer 2020 featuring Jana from Sustainable Wenatchee, Betsy from Methow Recycles and Ariahna from Waste Loop

 

Recycling drop-off locations 

There are a few drop-off locations for recycling in Chelan County. This includes in the transfer station Dryden, Michelsen's Packaging / Central WA Recycling in Wenatchee & in the city of Leavenworth.

 

Douglas County has four Recycling Centers, in Bridgeport, Mansfield, Rock Island and Waterville and 5 recycling trailers throughout the East Wenatchee area. 

 

 

Tips for what goes in your curbside Waste Management blue bin*

* What you can recycle curbside through Waste Management depends on where you live. For example, glass is accepted in the city of East Wenatchee and Cashmere but not other areas (Wenatchee, Chelan County, Douglas County, Leavenworth). 

 

  • ALL recyclables should be clean, dry and empty. 

  • Don't be an aspirational recycler - when in doubt, throw it out - or email us! 

  • Extra recycling costs about $4. Put recycling that doesn’t fit in your bin in cardboard boxes, paper bags or a 32-gallon can labeled “recycling.”  Not in a plastic bag!

 

Clean paper and cardboard
  • Flattened cardboard (limit 2’x2’), newspaper, magazines, catalogs, phonebooks, paperback books, mail (plastic window envelopes ok), paper bags, food boxes. 

  • No food soiled or wet paper (greasy pizza boxes)

  • No shredded paper (it is difficult to separate at the recycling center)

  • Cardboard can also be taken to local recycling drop-off sites like Michelsen's, see above. 

 

Paper food containers
  • Empty and clean paper cups, cartons, and boxes

  • Nothing plastic lined (hot coffee cups) or waxy (frozen food like ice cream cartons)

 

Clean metal
  • Aluminum and tin cans, empty aerosol cans and scrap metal (limit 2’x2’x2’, 35 lbs). Please rinse and empty cans. 

 

Clean glass bottles and jars - ONLY for East Wenatchee and Cashmere residents 
  • Glass is being phased out by Waste Management and will be removed from the accepted list of recyclable materials soon. City of Wenatchee residents can no longer recycle glass starting May 1, 2021. Unfortunately the only local drop-off glass recycling is for Leavenworth residents currently. A glass crushing project by Lake Chelan Rotary is slated to begin in Chelan in summer 2021. 

 

Clean & empty plastic containers
  • Bottle shape with screw off lid preferred, primarily #1 and #2 plastics

  • Do not put small plastic lids in the recycling, they should be thrown away

 

 

Other local recycling opportunities
(do NOT place these things in your curbside bin)

 

Plastic grocery bags & plastic wrap
  • Take plastic grocery bags to your local grocery store, do NOT put in blue curbside bin. Stores in the Wenatchee Valley that accept them include: Safeway (Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan), Walmart (Wenatchee and Chelan), Grocery Outlet in East Wenatchee, Fred Meyer, and Martin's Market in Cashmere.

  • In addition to grocery bags, you can include bread, newspaper and dry cleaning bags, zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry), bubble wrap and air pillows, and plastic wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, and diapers. You can also include any film packaging or bag that has the How2Recycle Label shown at right. Do NOT include compostable items, pre-washed salad mix bags, frozen food bags, or six-pack rings. Learn more here.

 

Styrofoam and packing materials
  • Take all kinds of styrofoam to Dolco packaging at 1121 S. Columbia St in Wenatchee. They recycle what they can locally and ship the rest to be recycled elsewhere for free as a service to our community. 

  • Packing peanuts can be reused or taken to Pak It Rite at 36 N Chelan Ave in Wenatchee or Mail It Your Way at 595-3 Grant Road in East Wenatchee. Mail pillows and bubble wrap can also be reused at these locations. 

  • Many packing peanuts are actually made out of biodegradable corn or wheat starch, and will dissolve in water. Test to see if one will dissolve before recycling. 

 

Metal
  • Large amounts of scrap metal can be sold to Wenatchee Valley Salvage and Recycling at 295 Urban Industrial Ave in East Wenatchee (509-886-7161). They purchase copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, tin, scrap steel, motor block and vehicles.

  • Tin and aluminum can be taken to T&C Recycling at 1631 S. Wenatchee Ave (509-662-6520). 

 

Clothing and textiles
  • If clothing can still be worn, donate or sell it. Women's and children’s clothing may also be donated to the YWCA Store (423-7599), Women’s Resource Center (662-0121) or the Grace House (888-4864). Men’s clothing can be donated to the Veterans Warehouse Thrift Store (888-7313) or the Wenatchee Valley Senior Center Thrift Store (662-7036). The Women's Service League of Wenatchee accepts women’s clothing, shoes and accessories year-round at Brad Huddle Allstate at 235 N Mission. Each spring they hold an event called My Girlfriend’s Closet where they sell the items and all proceeds go to help the homeless in the valley.

  • Clothing and other textiles can be donated to the WHS Golden Apple Band, who work with FunDrive to re-sell it as a fundraiser. They no longer take textiles for recycling. Contact the coordinator Jennifer at jennifergharrison@gmail.com and she will coordinate a pick-up by one of the band students. 

  • Goodwill accepts clothing in all condition. Items in poor condition first go to their Outlets and after that get sold by the pound to recyclers. Donate at 830 S. Mission in Wenatchee or 620 Grant Road in East Wenatchee. The YWCA Thrift Store at 231 N Wenatchee Ave also accepts worn out clothing and textiles to be reused as rags at mechanic shops.

 

Hazardous Waste
  • Chelan country residents can utilize the Moderate Risk Waste Facility. 

  • Collection events for hazardous waste are held periodically throughout the year by Douglas County

  • Latex paint is no longer accepted during these collection events. If you have large quantities of unused paint, find out if it can be used by friends, family or a local non-profit. To dispose of paint in your garbage, it must be hardened first. Paint hardener can be purchased from a local hardware store, or you can make your own by using kitty litter, potting soil, dried leaves or pine needles, dry lawn clippings, or even shredded newspaper.

  • Batteries can be recycled at Pacific Power Batteries at 742 S Mission St. Alkaline batteries cost $1.10 per pound to recycle, rechargeable and lithium batteries are free, and they pay for auto batteries. Battery Systems of Wenatchee at 921 N Miller will also recycle auto or marine batteries for free. Batteries and phones can also be recycled at Call2Recycle bins at Home Depot or Lowes.

 

Medical & Vision Waste
  • MedSafe containers are available at the outpatient pharmacy at Central Washington Hospital and in the lobby of the Wenatchee Valley Clinic. They accept all unused medications including controlled substances and narcotics. Leave in the original packaging when possible. No needles, syringes or other hazardous materials. 

  • “Sharps” such as needles or syringes can be taken to the South Wenatchee Transfer Station at 1421 S Wenatchee Ave or East Wenatchee City Hall at 271 9th St. They accept residential sharps only, and they must be in approved “Sharps Waste Container” that can be purchased from a pharmacy or you may use a leak-proof, rigid, puncture-resistant plastic container such as a liquid detergent bottle. Once full, reinforce the lid with heavy duty tape such as duct tape and label the container. Some local pharmacies may accept sharps as well. 

  • Take your contact lens packaging (foil tops pulled from plastic, but intermingled is ok) to Vision Source at 1190 Fifth St in Wenatchee and they will recycle them for you. All brands are accepted. 

 

Light Bulbs
  • CFL and fluorescent tubes can be recycled at Stan’s Merry Mart at 733 S. Wenatchee Ave, at Lake Chelan Lighting Center at 917 E Woodin Ave, or at the Rock Island Community Recycling Center at 23 S. Garden Ave, through the LightRecycle Washington program. For all three drop off sites, this is a free service but there is a limit of 10 per person, per day. 

  • There are no local recycling options for recycling other lightbulbs such as incandescents and LEDs. If you would really like to recycle them, save them and take them to a Puget Sound Energy drop off location the next time you’re traveling. Options include PSE’s Ellensburg office at 207 N Pearl St in Ellensburg or the Cle Elum Senior Center at 719 E 3rd St in Cle Elum. 

 

E-Waste
  • Electronic waste such as televisions, computers, computer monitors, laptops, tablets, E-readers and portable DVD players can be recycled through the Department of Ecology’s E-Cycle WA program. Computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice and printers are not included in this program. Local drop-off sites include the Salvation Army on 1219 Wenatchee Ave., Office Depot at 915 N. Wenatchee Ave., Pacific Power Batteries at 742 S. Mission, Goodwill at 830 S. Mission or 620 Grant Road and the YWCA Store at 231 N. Wenatchee Ave. 

  • All electronics, even those excluded from the E-Cycle WA program, can be recycled at Office Depot at 915 N Wenatchee Avenue, for a fee. They have recycle boxes of three sizes for $5, $10 and $15. Recycle small items like cell phones for just $5 and larger times such as printers for $15. You can fill up the box with as many items as will fit. 

  • Any brand of ink cartridges from any store can be recycled at Office Depot at 915 N Wenatchee Avenue. 

  • Check with your service provide to see if you can recycle your old satellite dish. For example, Dish Network has a recycling program where you can drop it off at a Best Buy store for free (nearest stores are in Yakima or Issaquah) or pay to ship it via UPS. 

Lumber, building materials, and gardening

  • Habitat for Humanity accepts functioning, usable items to the Habitat for Humanity Store. They accept new and used building materials and home furnishings from businesses and individuals. All donations are tax deductible. Visit their website for complete list of accepted items. The store is located at 615 S. Wenatchee Avenue. You can also call for pick up: (509) 667-1638. 

  • You can take plastic pots to be recycled at Lowe's gardening center, 1200 Walla Walla Ave. They don't have to be especially clean, just shake out the dirt and bring them to the gardening center. While there is a similar program with some Home Depot stores, the Wenatchee store does not accept pots for recycling at this time. 

 

 

 

Composting

Yard waste
  • Curbside yard waste collection service is available in urban areas through Waste Management. To find out if this service is available in your area, please call 1-877-466-4668. Yard waste is turned into compost by Stemilt. Please do not put food waste of any kind into your yard waste bin. 

  • The Stemilt Organic Recycling Center accepts yard waste such as grass clippings, leaves, bushes, branches and tree rounds and stumps up to 18” in diameter at a cost of $10/yard. It is located at 1465 S. Wenatchee Ave across from the Humane Society. No food waste, please. 

 

Food waste
  • Food waste can be composted at home by collecting kitchen scraps and leftover food, then adding to a compost pile or a compost bin. Do not compost animal products (meat, fish, eggs or dairy), pet waste, oily foods or bones. 

  • Please do not put food waste in your Waste Management curbside yard waste bin.

 

“Compostable” products
  • Some products that appear to be plastic or paper are actually compostable, made of plants like corn. These plastic-like items are NOT recyclable. They will not break down easily in backyard compost since they are designed to be composted in a commercial composting facility. Unfortunately there is currently no facility available for Wenatchee valley residents, so these items must be thrown away. 

  • Some paper items that are compostable could be recyclable, as long as they are empty, clean and dry. However paper products like paper towels, napkins and facial tissues are not recyclable. Adding these items to your home compost is a great option (see food waste, above). Even better: replace disposable paper items for reusable cloth. 

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