OLYMPIA - Effective immediately, paper milk cartons, juice cartons, and frozen food boxes are now prohibited in your yard waste/organics bin. This is due to changes at Silver Springs Organics, the commercial composting facility where all yard and food waste collected in Thurston County is sent. Silver Springs has discovered that certain paper items that have a thin plastic coating called polycoating do not break down completely during their composting process. After the paper composts, this plastic layer is left over, and contaminates the finished product. The majority of commercial composting facilities prohibit these items for this reason. Please examine paper products closely. If they have a slick, shiny surface, they most likely have a plastic coating and should not go in the yard waste/organics bin. In addition, many items sold as "compostable" such as bioplastic bags, plates and cutlery do not break down. Silver Springs has created a list of products that successfully compost in the time and temperature of their composting process and these will be the only bioplastic products accepted.
Visit www.silverspringsorganics.com for a full list of accepted items and approved compostable bioplastic bags and service ware products. Additional information on these changes will be featured in the fall edition of the Talkin' Trash Newsletter, which is mailed to every residence in Thurston County by Thurston County Solid Waste.