Frequently Asked Questions
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Thurston County maintains a database of locations where you can recycle or reuse hundreds of items. Visit our "Where Do I Take My? ... " page.
The Waste and Recovery Center at Hawks Prairie is open seven days a week, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day and the Fourth of July. Click here for more information about hours and rates.
Thurston County does not own or operate garbage and recycling trucks. To find out information about pickup schedules and rates, please contact the hauling company that serves your home.
In Thurston County, plastic is recyclable if it is a plastic bottle or plastic jar (peanut butter, for example) and the neck that is narrower than the base. Also recyclable in Thurston County: yogurt and margarine tubs, other plastic dairy tubs, buckets (including kitty litter buckets), and rigid plant pots that are clean.
These types of plastics are NOT recyclable: clear plastic tubs (such as the type that holds hummous or salsa), plastic clam-shell containers (such as the containers that hold grapes or apples), and frozen food trays.
Plastic bags are not recyclable at the curb, but they may be taken to a local grocery store for recycling, or to the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center recycle blue bins.
Knowing which plastics are recyclable can be tricky. There are so many different kinds and, unfortunately, not everything that features a recycle symbol is truly recyclable. It all depends on whether recycling plants will actually accept the materials, regardless of whether the manufacturers imprint the familiar "chasing arrow" symbol on the bottom. Click here for a guideline.
Regular household buckets, kitty litter buckets, and detergent buckets may now go in curbside recycle bins. The buckets must be clean. No lids or handles.
Can I put plastic caps and lids in the recycle bin? What about the little plastic ring on pop bottles?
Plastic caps and lids belong in the garbage, not the recycle bin. Plastic caps and lids cannot be recycled because they are often made out of a different type of plastic than the containers. Different types of plastics should not be recycled together because of contamination.
What about the little plastic ring around the neck of the bottle? Go ahead and leave it on. It’s so small it won’t cause contamination, and it’s usually fixed in place so it won’t pop off and jam the equipment.
You can recycle any plastic bottle, including shampoo, dish soap and even bubble bath. The exception: motor oil bottles or any other type of bottle that held a poisonous product.
A metal lid may be recycled only if it is still attached to the can (and folded into the can itself). Lids that are detached from cans often get incorrectly mixed with paper and cardboard during the automated sorting process at recycling plants.
The recycling plant that accepts materials from Thurston County has asked that cans NOT be flattened. They will be flattened at the facility after they are sorted by machines.
Just one rinse for recycling should be sufficient, even for vegetable oil bottles. Cans, jars and bottles that are rinsed before recycling are cleaner and thus more valuable. Also, clean containers are less attractive to bugs. Remember to throw away bottle caps before recycling. Also, motor oil containers cannot be recycled.
Several businesses will pick up and recycle used appliances. Please visit our "Where Do I Take My..." page and click on the appropriate item.
Please visit our "Where Do I Take My..." page and click on "furniture."
No, most self-adhesive notes are now made with a water-based adhesive, which is not a problem for recycling.
No, these come out easily in the recycling process.
No, these come out easily in the recycling process.
The recycling plant that accepts materials from Thurston County has requested that shredded paper NOT go in recycle bins because the small pieces of paper cause problems with the sorting equipment.
Take molded foam blocks and food containers to the Waste and Recovery Center at Hawks Prairie, or to DART Container Corp. at 600 Israel Road SE. Before dropping off your foam:
Call 352-7045 to schedule large deliveries to DART.
These sites do not accept packaging peanuts. Many local shipping stores collect them. Click here for locations.
No, they’re trash. We encourage people to pour juice into reusable containers.
Wrapping paper is recyclable. The only exception: the shiny, metallic kind is not recyclable. Bows and ribbons are also not recyclable; consider saving these and reusing them instead.
No, foil is not recyclable. It must go in the trash.
No, empty plastic bottles that held toxic products should not be placed in the recycle bin. They belong in the garbage.
Currently, there are no locations for residents to drop off mattresses for recycling. However, Washington Correctional Industries recycles old mattresses from picked up by mattress stores. When you buy a new mattress, ask the store if they will recycle your old one for you.
Take these materials to HazoHouse at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center.
No, photos and photo paper are not recyclable.
No, unfortunately the wrappers are not recyclable.
Yes, hardbound and paperback books are recyclable. If you plan to recycle a large quantity of hardbound books, please place a few books in the bin at a time instead of recycling them all at once. The glue in the binding can become a problem in large quantities. Better yet, donate or sell the books for others to use.
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