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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Public Works

New Organics Collection Requirements

To help meet Washington state’s emissions and climate goals, the Organics Management Law was passed to reduce the amount of methane created when organic materials decompose in a landfill. To achieve this reduction, the bill established milestones based on 2015 disposal levels:

  • Rescue 20% of previously disposed edible food for human consumption by 2025
  • Divert 75% of previously disposed organic materials from landfills by 2030

Business impacts 

bucket of food

Based on available services and volumes of organic material and solid waste produced, businesses must arrange for organic materials collection following the schedule below:

  • Jan. 1, 2024 -Businesses generating at least eight cubic yards of organic material waste per week must arrange for organic materials management service.
  • Jan. 1, 2025 -Businesses generating at least four cubic yards of organic material waste per week must arrange for organic materials management service.
  • Jan. 1, 2026 - Businesses generating at least four cubic yards of solid waste per week must arrange for organic materials management service.

Following the schedule above, businesses must ensure that an organics management facility will process the organic materials taken off-site.

What’s considered a business

Under the Organics Management Law, a business is defined as a commercial or public entity including, but not limited to, a firm, partnership, proprietorship, joint-stock company, corporation, or association organized as a for-profit or nonprofit entity. It does not include a multifamily residential entity.

What’s considered food waste

“Food waste” is any waste from fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, fish, shellfish, nuts, seeds, grains, or similar materials resulting from the storage, preparation, cooking, handling, selling, or serving food for human consumption.

Available assistance

Want to know how you will be impacted by these new requirements? Technical and educational assistance is available for businesses. Areas of assistance include:

  • Assessing the amount of organic waste generated by your business
  • Planning and strategizing an organics collection program
  • Training for staff on your organics program
  • Signage for waste and organic collection stations
  • Other ways to improve recycling and waste reduction efforts

Fill out this form if you would like a Thurston County Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist to contact you directly.