Organics collection

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Plastic bag ban now in effect
Ordinances have started in Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and unincorporated Thurston County banning plastic carryout bags.
Learn more about these ordinances.

Got extra food? Learn about donating your business's extra food to the Thurston County Food Bank.

two hands holding compost

 Don’t let your grass clippings, branches, and food scraps go to waste! Instead, turn them into a valuable resource by signing up for a collection service or by utilizing one of the other options to reduce organic waste listed below.

 Garbage, recycling, and organics are collected in Thurston County by the City of Olympia and LeMay. For information on organics collection services, click on the links below or contact your hauler directly.

 City of Olympia service areas

 LeMay service areas

 What can go in your bin

 Yard Waste

  • Grass, branches, leaves, plants & flowers
  • Wooden pallets, wood boxes, chopsticks & lumber scraps (NOT treated, painted or stained - Nails are okay)

 Food Scraps

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Bread, pasta, pizza & rice
  • Dairy and egg shells
  • Meat and bones
  • Seafood and shells

 Food Soiled and Shredded Paper

  • Paper towels, napkins & paper bags
  • Paper plates and paper boats (uncoated, non-shiny)
  • Coffee grounds, filters & tea bags
  • Pizza boxes and waxy cardboard
  • Shredded paper

Not all items labeled "compostable" or "biodegradable” really compost. For assistance in choosing compostable products for your home or business that are accepted in our program, please call 360-867-2491 or email You can also download the City of Olympia’s list of Compostable Bag and Service Ware to find durable, reusable service products.

Other waste reduction options for organics

Take your yard waste to the Waste and Recovery Center or visit the WhereDoITakeMy? database to find other yard waste drop-off locations. No self-hauled food or food-soiled paper is accepted at the WARC. Organics that are self-hauled to the WARC are taken to the woody debris area where food and food-soiled paper can attract vermin and birds and cause serious odor problems. Food and food-soiled papers can be collected in the curbside organics program because they are processed quickly in a different area. See the top of this page for more information on organics collection services.

Please note: Noxious weeds should not be included in your yard waste; you must pay to dispose of them as garbage. Certain noxious weeds qualify for free disposal. Please contact Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Agency for more information about noxious weeds.

Start your own backyard compost pile.

Practice GrassCycling, a simple, natural way of recycling grass and returning water and nutrients to the soil.

Find out how to keep your food – and money – out of the trash at


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