Thurston County Solid Waste is responsible for receiving, processing, and safely disposing of the county's solid waste.
The total amount of garbage disposed of in Thurston County decreased between 2008 and 2014 but has risen between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 Thurston County produced approximately 180,000 tons of solid waste, or roughly 1,300 pounds of trash per resident of the County. The amount of trash per resident increased for the 4th consecutive year in 2016, after 5 consecutive years of reduction from 2007 to 2012.
When disposed, this garbage is transferred to the Waste and Recovery Center, a state-of-the-art transfer station that opened in May 2000. The transfer station accommodates up to 600 tons of waste per day. Garbage from the Waste and Recovery Center is loaded onto trucks, hauled to Centralia, and then placed on rail cars to be transported by train to the Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Klickitat County. The Waste and Recovery Center replaces a landfill which operated on the site between 1972 and 2000.
Since 2007, recycling totals have fluctuated between about 44,500 and 57,500 tons per year. In 2016, roughly 340 pounds were recycled per County resident.
Sustainable Thurston Report Card
The Sustainable Thurston Report Card uses the landfill solid waste per capita to measure how well the Thurston region is doing at planning and acting toward zero waste in the region. The benchmark includes two targets for meeting this goal: reducing the per capita landfill waste by 15% in 2020 and 32% in 2035.