Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
March, 2014
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This Month's Articles

Recently Elected Officials Honored at Swearing In Ceremonies

Service Comes First

Thurston County’s Specialty Courts Hit Milestone

One Family, One Judge.

Sheriff Recognizes Contributions to the Community

Romance on Mound Prairie

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 Do Your Part to Reduce the Waste Stream.

Simple steps to cut down on garbage.

New Organics Collection a Big Success. Historically, organics make up about 23% of the waste stream that goes to the landfill with most of this being food and compostable paper. This is a shame because these materials can easily be turned into nutrient rich compost for the soil. The good news is that yard waste collection services for residents, schools and businesses was expanded in 2008 to include food and compostable paper.

In one short year, more than 80 businesses signed up for LeMays Food Plus Organics Recycling service. Several schools are also participating through the Food to Flowers program and diverting about 75% of their cafeteria waste. The amount of residential organics collected has increased a whopping 27% in the past year with an 18% increase in customers that subscribe to organics collection.

Besides the environmental benefits, organics recycling is much less expensive than trash collection and can save schools and businesses a significant amount of money. Residents can switch to the smallest possible trash can or a less frequent collection schedule for a cost savings. For more information, just contact your trash hauler.

Where Should I Take My……? Have you ever come across items you think might be recyclable or reusable but just aren’t sure where to take them? Don’t waste valuable resources (and your money) sending these items to the landfill. Recycle them or find them a new home with the County’s easy to use database. Just go to the county’sWater and Waste Management web pages and look for the yellow highlighted text that says “Where Should I Take My?” Solid Waste staff has compiled an alphabetical listing of a large variety of items that links to a list of all the reuse and recycling locations we know of. No internet? Just call us at 360-357-2491 and we’ll look it up for you

As a side note, the County will probably be unable to host Community Recycle days or WasteMobile events due to budget issues in the upcoming year. The above website has local options for all the materials residents usually take to these events.

Reuse Options in Thurston County. Reuse tends to be the forgotten R of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. In reality, reusing items is even more environmentally friendly and cost effective than recycling because it does not require reprocessing of materials.

Reuse falls into two categories. The first is when you make a one-time purchase of an item to avoid using disposables. Examples of this are durable coffee cups, water bottles or grocery bags. Most of us see the importance of this and try to do the right thing. Though how many times have you gotten to the grocery store and realized your reusable bags are still sitting at home!

The other category is giving an item a second life. You know; one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. However some folks have attached a stigma with buying used items. They view it as a dirty little secret that would mean they are not keeping up with the Jones’.

The good news is that buying and selling used items has become more mainstream and widely accepted over the past several years with the popularity of free websites such as EBay, Craigslist and our local 2good2toss. People are realizing that you get perfectly good stuff at a fraction of what new items cost. You can also make some bucks by selling off those unwanted items in the garage and closet.

Some folks buy, sell or give away items on these types of websites to reduce their environmental impact. And then there are those that just enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Cruising through the items listed is like strolling through the biggest garage sale in the world while sitting in your recliner. It’s a great feeling to find that item you’ve been looking for and getting a great deal. And it is an equally good feeling to sell or give away an item to someone who needs it – not to mention saving on disposal costs.

In addition to Craig’s List and Ebay, you might try 2good2toss or usedolympia.com

By Terri Thomas

Schools now take part in organics recycling. Schools now take part in organics recycling.