A truck dumps sheet rock onto the floor at Airport Road Recycling & Transfer Station on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Antifreeze, batteries, cooking oil: All are recyclable — for free

Snohomish County Public Works operates six recycling and waste facilities. Residents can bring in lawn mowers and propane tanks.

EVERETT — At the Airport Road Recycling and Transfer Station, residents can recycle items for free that would never be feasible for curbside bins — like lawn mowers.

The Snohomish County Public Works facility, just down the road from Paine Field, has rows of containers labeled for traditionally recyclable items, like beverage cans and cardboard, as well as bins for things like batteries and propane tanks.

Before this recycling program started about 15 years ago, county solid waste managers noticed residents were throwing away motor oil and other items not safe for garbage collection services, said Dave Schonhard, the solid waste director for county Public Works. County staff then worked with local vendors to offer more accessible recycling options.

“You drop off and drive away,” Schonhard said.

County recycling and transfer stations provide residents with cost-effective options for waste disposal, solid waste managers said. The facilities are especially beneficial for locals who don’t, or can’t, use curbside services for certain items.

Residents can recycle the following items for free at the county’s recycling and transfer facilities:

• Batteries (though not electric vehicle batteries)

• Beverage cans

• Cardboard and mixed paper

• Cooking oil

• Motor oil

• Antifreeze

• Oil filters

• Fluorescent bulbs

• Glass

• Lawn mowers

• Propane tanks

• Scrap metal

Certain household appliances

Residents should make sure all recyclable items are empty, clean and dry before dropping them off.

This past holiday season, county solid waste managers piloted a program to recycle holiday string lights — an item many residents mistakenly put in their curbside recycling bins. In December and January, locals brought 1,602 pounds worth of holiday lights to county recycling and transfer stations. The county plans to offer a similar program again this year.

The county’s recycling and transfer stations don’t collect plastic items anymore because there was too much contamination, forcing staff to process potentially recyclable loads as garbage. County facilities also don’t currently accept yard or wood debris, though several local businesses recycle those materials.

In addition to recycling services, Public Works stations also process nearly 600,000 tons of garbage every year. The recycling program at the stations is just for residents, but both residents and businesses can participate in garbage services.

The county charges $105 per ton of garbage, which Schonhard said can be cheaper than some curbside garbage collection services.

Residents and commercial clients drive up to the facility where their waste is weighed before they unload it. Public Works has webcams at all of the facilities, so residents can see how long the lines are for waste disposal.

Snohomish County operates three facilities open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day:

• Airport Road Recycling and Transfer Station at 10700 Minuteman Drive in Everett;

• North County Recycling and Transfer Station at 19600 63rd Ave NE in Arlington; and

• Southwest Recycling and Transfer Station at 21311 61st Place W in Mountlake Terrace.

Residents can also bring accepted recyclable items and small loads of garbage to the county’s three drop box sites that are open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on certain days of the week:

• Dubuque Road Drop Box at 19619 Dubuque Road in Snohomish;

• Granite Falls Drop Box at 7526 Menzel Lake Road in Granite Falls; and

• Sultan Drop Box at 33014 Cascade View Drive in Sultan.

Ta’Leah Van Sistine: 425-339-3460; taleah.vansistine@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @TaLeahRoseV.

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