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

Yard waste in a wheelbarrow

Drop-off Location

Waste and Recovery Center (WARC)

Address: 2420 Hogum Bay Road NE, Lacey, WA 98516
Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 8 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Food waste is only accepted at the food and yard waste rate Monday through Friday at the WARC. It is accepted Saturday and Sunday at the regular garbage rate. Food and yard waste taken to county drop-box facilities in Rainier and Rochester is treated as garbage and charged regular garbage rates.

All county drop-off locations are closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

Before You Go

Who can use county facilities
Thurston County Solid Waste facilities are intended for use by people who live in Thurston County and businesses of Thurston County.  

Food & yard waste limits

  • Waste and Recovery Center (WARC): Food waste is only accepted for composting Monday through Friday.
  • Rainier and Rochester Drop-Box Facilities: All food and yard waste will be handled as regular garbage.

Secure Your Load

Washington law requires motorists to cover and secure their loads (RCW 46.61.655) to prevent cargo from breaking free. The Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) has an un-tarping area near the entrance. Please uncover loads before proceeding to the scales—this helps make the unloading process go more smoothly. 

Follow these simple tips: 
  • Place lighter items below heavier items to keep them in place.  
  • Tie down items using rope, netting, straps, or chains. Securely fasten large items directly to your vehicle. 
  • Add extra protection by covering the entire load with a tarp or netting. Make sure that any covering is securely tied down. 
  • Don't overload vehicles or trailers. 
  • Double-check to be sure the load is secure. 
  • Speed, weight, and gravity are not load securing devices. Ropes, straps, and netting are load securing devices. 

Traffic at the Waste and Recovery Center (WARC)

The chart below shows the average traffic level at the WARC on different days and times. Visit during times marked green or yellow for the shortest wait times. Actual traffic and wait times may vary, especially due to special events or holidays.  

WARC traffic heatmap graphic
WARC traffic volume by time graphic

Fees & Acceptance List

Payment options:

Cash, check, debit card, all major credit cards (Discover, Visa, AMEX and MasterCard only), and Apple Pay

Payment by debit or credit card has an additional $2.00 processing fee.

All rates include 3.6% state refuse tax where applicable.
NSF Fee:  $30.00 fee for insufficient funds

The drop-off guide for food and yard waste accepted at the Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) is helpful if self-hauling. 


Food and yard waste

The WARC accepts:

Yard waste


  • Grass, branches, leaves, plants and flowers
  • Wooden pallets, wood boxes, and lumber scraps (NOT treated, painted or stained – Nails are OK)
  • Ivy, black berries, and scotch broom are not accepted
  • Dirt, rocks and sod are not accepted

Food scraps

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Bread, pasta, pizza, and rice
  • Dairy and eggshells
  • Meat and bones
  • Seafood and shells

Food-soiled paper

  • Kitchen paper towels and napkins
  • Coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags

Note: Mixed loads of garbage and food/yard waste will be charged the garbage rate.

$9 minimum
(under 300 pounds)

$45 / ton (less than 10 cubic yards, prorated)

$37 / ton (10+ cubic yards, prorated)

  • ​WARC only

​Unacceptable Materials

These items are not acceptable as food and yard waste. Please place them in your garbage.

  • Rocks, soil, or sod
  • Treated, stained, or painted wood (no plywood or particle board)
  • Noxious or problem weeds—dispose of them as garbage.
    Certain noxious weeds qualify for free disposal. 
    Please contact Thurston County Noxious Weeds for more information about noxious weeds.
  • Stumps over 24 inches in diameter
  • Liquids, fats, oils, or grease
  • Shredded paper
  • Plastics of any kind
  • Bags of any kind including paper, compostable, or biodegradable
  • Compostable cups, utensils plates, or bowls

Curbside Service

Garbage, recycling, and organics are collected in Thurston County by the City of Olympia and LeMay. For information on food and yard waste collection services, contact your hauler directly.

You can view LeMay's guide or the City of Olympia's guide to find out what can go into curbside food and yard waste carts.

Waste Less Food

The average family wastes about 250 pounds of edible food each year. This is a waste of resources and costs a family of four about $130 a month. Find some tips and tools to reduce your food waste on our Waste Less Food page.

Businesses interested in donating food (including prepared foods) should explore our Business page.

Home Compost

Visit the website for the Thurston County Master Recycler Composter program to:

  • Learn about the benefits of home composting.
  • Access plans for home compost systems that match a variety of homes and lifestyles.
  • Find a home composting workshop at a local demonstration garden.
  • Register for the Master Recycler Composter training and volunteer in your community.