Sustainable Thurston Report Card

Goal
Plan and act toward zero waste in the region.

Targets
No net increase in total landfill waste from 2010. This will require a:

  • 15% reduction in per capita landfill waste by 2020
  • 32% reduction in per capita landfill waste by 2035

Outlook
CloudyOutlook: Stormy, concerns for the future.
Solid waste collected per person is above the levels needed to reach the region's 2035 targets. Waste collected on a per capita basis has increased from a low of 1,140 pounds per person in 2012 to 1,318 pounds per person in 2016.

Data Table

Why is this important?
Over 500 tons of garbage are produced in Thurston County each day. Disposing of waste is a complex system, involving:

  • Collection and transportation of waste to processing facilities
  • Processing and marketing of recyclable and organic materials
  • Safe disposal of hazardous waste
  • Safe operation and maintenance of landfills

Each part of this system has financial and environmental costs. Reducing waste can save money, and decrease pollution and traffic congestion.

Key Observations
Thurston County will need to continue to reduce its per capita waste to meet the target of no net increase in landfill waste by 2035. Thurston County and Thurston County cities and towns have already implemented many innovative and successful waste reduction programs for residents and businesses. The 2009 Thurston County Solid Waste Management Plan and the 2015 City of Olympia Waste ReSources Management Plan outline some of these efforts. Residents can help do their part by:

  • Reducing consumption, where possible, and purchasing products with minimal packaging
  • Reusing or donating unneeded products
  • Recycling acceptable materials
  • Composting yard and food scraps in their backyards