Skip to main content

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

photo of low-waste event & borrow-a-bin


The goal of a low-waste event is to divert as much material from the landfill as possible. Whether it’s a family reunion, potluck, music festival, sporting event, or company picnic, no matter the size, a low-waste event is possible! Start by providing a recycling bin and work towards little to no garbage collection. Ideally all the items used at the event are either reusable, recyclable, or compostable. 

Low-waste event toolkit

Stay on track to plan and host your low-waste event with our printable Low-waste event checklist

Quick tips to consider for your event:

  • Provide bulk beverage and condiment dispensers. 
  • Choose reusable plates, cups, utensils, napkins, tablecloths, and decorations. 
  • Send out reminders to guests on waste reduction tips such as “Please bring a reusable cup.” 
  • Communicate with event planners and vendors on waste reduction goals and requirements before and during the event.  
  • Put garbage and recycling bins together and clearly label all bins with accepted materials.  
  • Monitor the waste in the bins and replace bags as needed.   
  • Consider donating unserved, prepared food to the Thurston Food Rescue Program. 
  • Celebrate your waste reduction successes!

Did you know recycling is required by law at official gatherings and sports facilities?

Washington State’s Recycling Law (RCW 70.93.093) requires recycling at official gatherings and sport facilities by vendors who sell beverages in single-use aluminum, glass, or plastic bottles or cans.  

Borrow-a-Bin Program

We are here to make recycling easier at your next event with our free recycling and garbage bins. We provide the portable bins, signs, bags, and a how-to guide. Our bins are available on a first come, first served basis and can be picked up at various locations in Thurston County. 

How does it work?

  1. Decide how many bins you need using the guidelines below.  
  2. Choose one of the bin pickup locations from the list below.  
  3. Call or email the pickup location contact at least two weeks before your event. 
  4. Pick up the bins prior to the event during regular business hours.  
  5. Return clean bins and any extra bags to your pickup location within one week of the event.   


​Location ​Address ​Contact ​Phone
Lacey Lacey City Hall
Water Resources
420 College Street SE
Lacey, WA 98503 
Ali Brown (360) 742-6830
Olympia City of Olympia
Public Works
1401 Eastside St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501 
Spencer Orman (360) 753-8752
Rainier City of Rainier
Public Works
600 Minnesota St. N
Rainier, WA 98576
Ron Gibson ​(360) 446-2636
Yelm City of Yelm
Public Works
901 Rhoton Rd. SE
Yelm, WA 98597
​Karli Mitchell ​(360) 458-8406
South Thurston County Thurston County
Public Works
9605 Tilley Rd. S
Olympia, WA 98512
Online Bin Sign Up ​(360) 867-2491


In general, we recommend one set of garbage and recycling for every 25 guests. However, this depends on the type and quantity of materials being offered. Each recycling bag can hold up to 200 bottles/cans. 

Individual bins each come with the following:

  • Frame (measures 38" x 21" x 3", folds flat for easy transportation)
  • Lid
  • Sign holder
  • Sign
  • Extra bags (typically 3 per bin)
  • Bin assembly directions

A set of a few bins fit on the backseat or in the trunk of most vehicles. A single waste station (recycling bin, trash bin) weighs about 20 pounds. 

Bins are easy to set up with one person. Open the frame, lock the bag to the frame, snap the lid to the frame. Setup directions are included in the supplies. For a large event, we recommend having a cart to transport the bins. 

You are responsible for disposing of the materials collected at the event. Small amounts of trash and recycling can be placed in your carts for regular curbside collection.

For large amounts, contact your local hauler for a one-time service pick-up. For City of Olympia call (360) 753-8369 option #2 or LeMay, Inc. at (360) 923-0111. The other option is to drop off the materials at the Waste and Recovery Center at Hawks Prairie, Rainier Drop-box, or Rochester Drop-box. There is a fee for trash and recycling is free.