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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

Containers for recycling at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center

Drop-off Locations

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.
Access: Use the north entrance at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center. 

Rainier Drop-Box

Address: 13010 Rainier Acres Road SE, Rainier, WA 98576
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Rochester Drop-Box

Address: 16500 Sargent Road SW, Rochester, WA 98579
Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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. 

Recycling limits 

  • Cardboard recycling at the Rainier and Rochester Drop-Box Facilities is limited to two (2) cubic yards (after flattening) per customer per day. Quantities above this amount can be disposed of as garbage for a fee.  
  • Motor oil recycling is limited to five (5) gallons per customer per day. 
  • Tire recycling at the WARC is limited to five (5) tires per customer per day. All tires taken to Rainier and Rochester Drop-Box Facilities are disposed of as garbage. 
  • Some household hazardous wastes (HHW) such as batteries, propane tanks, fluorescent light bulbs, paint, etc. have daily limits per customer. 

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












Materials Accepted For Recycling

  • Metal cans
  • Newspapers
  • Paper bags (empty)
  • Magazines, catalogs & mail (windows and staples ok)
  • Cereal and food boxes
  • Phone books
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (neck must be narrower than the base, no lids or caps)
  • Plastic dairy tubs and yogurt cups
  • Plastic buckets (must be clean, no lids or handles)
  • Glass bottles and Jars

All recyclables should be empty, clean and dry.

Our facilities also provide reuse drop-off boxes for books and textiles, such as blankets and used clothing. Items must be clean, dry, free of mold, and in usable condition.

If you are not sure, view your recycling guide below or consult the Where Do I Take My? directory. 

Materials not on the list are considered contamination and put the entire load at risk of being sent to the landfill.

Curbside Recycling Collection

Thurston County does not provide or oversee curbside waste collection services. Contact the service provider in your area to set up services, ask a question, or resolve an issue. 

We do stay current on what's recyclable though! Feel free to use the following resources to improve your recycling habits.



View, download, or print your current recycling guide

Thurston County Recycling and Compost Guide

Thurston County Recycling and Compost Guide - Español

City of Olympia Accepted Materials Guide

LeMay customers should put glass in a separate, durable container at the curb. It should be between 5 and 20 gallons in size with drainage holes. The holes will prevent rain from filling up the container. Containers with liquid in them may not get collected.

City of Olympia customers should not leave glass at the curb. It can be taken to several drop-off locations.


Reducing is more important than reusing and recycling because it stops waste before it's created. It involves thinking about how much waste a product will create BEFORE getting it. 

Avoid buying over-packaged goods (excess bags, boxes and wrappers). 

If you can eat it before it goes bad, buy food in large sizes or bulk instead of single-serving. You can always place food into smaller, durable containers at home. 

Bring your own bags when you shop, or carry out small purchases without a bag. 

Give experiences like certificates to movies, plays, restaurants, and sporting events as gifts. Charitable donations also make great gifts. 

​Plastic bottles, jugs, and dairy tubs are recyclable in Thurston County. Any other type of plastic packaging is considered trash. This includes plastic trays, fruit or baked goods containers, deli containers, and plastic wrap. 

Avoid packaging made with two or more different materials, such as juice boxes made of paper laminated with plastic or foil. These mixed-material packages are not recyclable.

The more elaborate the packaging, the less likely it is recyclable. 

​Let store managers know your view on products with excessive packaging. Your business is important to them.

Encourage stores to sell unpackaged merchandise. 

Contact manufacturers and tell them your preference for less packaging. If you choose one product over another on the basis of packaging, write to the manufacturer and let them know why you bought a competitor's product.

When possible, buy refillable or reusable containers. Avoid containers that can only be thrown away. 

Purchase high-quality, durable items rather than disposable items. The cost may be higher at first, but in the long run you can save money. 

Get the longest warranty with the best repair service possible. Regular maintenance and repair extends the life of products such as tools, appliances, and shoes. 

Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions. These may include directions for cleaning, operating, and routine adjustments.

Wait a day (or longer) before you make a purchase. You may realize the item is unnessesary.

Use your budget to record your income and identify what you really need. 

Use a shopping list to stay on track. 

Read consumer reviews and contact consumer organizations before making major purchases.

​Construction & Demolition (C&D)

C&D debris represents over 7% of the garbage thrown away in Thurston County. The good news is much of it is reusable or recyclable. Whether you are remodeling your home or another building on your property, you can save money by keeping materials out of the landfill.

Some methods include renovating existing buildings (rather than constructing new buildings), designing buildings to make them easy to update in the future, and writing contracts emphasizing the reduction of materials and packaging brought to the site.




Donate, share, or sell materials you don't need. Find locations accepting building materials by searching the Where Do I Take My? directory. Call before going. Certain restrictions or requirements may apply, and some items require permits from various agencies. There may be a charge to recycle certain items.

Reusing materials is even more cost-effective and environmentally beneficial than recycling. Use reclaimed materials in your project.

​The Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center does not recycle C&D debris. Any waste taken there will be charged and processed as garbage. Garbage rates are listed in the table.