Why was the recycling center built there? Why and when was it abandoned?

A:

The recycling center was built in 1976 in response to the activism of The Committee to Save the Earth at Mercer Island High School. There was a need for a recycling center because there was no residential pick-up of recycling available at that time. The recycling center operated for 34 years.  

The Recycle Center Site – Community Process Results document dated July 2010 describes the decision to close the recycle center and discusses potential uses of this site. Below is an excerpt:

“With the advent of curbside services, more households now have access to recycling, making a singular drop-off location less efficient. The Mercer Island School District, which has been running the Recycling Center since its inception, made the decision to discontinue recycling operations and has consequently returned the property to the City of Mercer Island on February 28, 2010.“