Regulatory information

Regulations, Plans & Studies

Thurston County must comply with federal, state, and local laws governing how solid waste is handled. The laws are intended to maintain the highest standards for protecting human health and the environment, including water, soil and air.

leg buildingSome common misconceptions are that Thurston County provides garbage and recycling pickup service and sets the rates for those services. In reality, Thurston County sets the standards and service levels for private hauling companies working in the County; however, the private hauling companies provide the service and set rates through the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. The County does operate and set rates for all of the county-owned self-haul locations, such as the drop boxes facilities and the Waste and Recovery Center.

Regulations & Plans

Waste Composition Studies

Every five years, Thurston County Solid Waste hires a company to sort through the county's garbage it arrives at the Waste and Recovery Center. Sort participants separate the waste into nearly 90 categories, including yard debris, food, textiles, and metals.

The results help Solid Waste educators understand what businesses and residents are throwing away and how to develop programs to help reduce waste. We can also compare data from previous sorts to see how our waste stream has changed over time.

The sorts don’t just look at the county's waste stream in general. They also collect individualized data from the City of Olympia’s waste, and waste generated at Thurston County government facilities.

Green Solutions, an environmental consulting firm, will conduct four waste sorts between October 2013 and July 2014. The sorts are spread out quarterly to capture changes in the waste stream at different times of year.

See data from previous sorts:

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