Goal: Plan and act toward zero waste in the region.
No net increase in total landfill waste from 2010.
Outlook: Stormy, concerns for the future. Solid waste collected per person is above the levels needed to reach the region's 2020 and 2035 targets. Waste collected on a per capita basis has increased from a low of 1,140 pounds per person in 2012 to 1,513 pounds per person in 2021.
Over 500 tons of garbage are produced in Thurston County each day. Disposing of waste is a complex system, involving:
Collection and transportation of waste to processing facilities
Processing and marketing of recyclable and organic materials
Safe disposal of hazardous waste
Safe operation and maintenance of landfills
Each part of this system has financial and environmental costs. Reducing waste can save money, and decrease pollution and traffic congestion.
Thurston County will need to continue to reduce its per capita waste to meet the target of no net increase in landfill waste by 2035. Thurston County and Thurston County cities and towns have already implemented many innovative and successful waste reduction programs for residents and businesses. Residents can help do their part by:
Reducing consumption, where possible, and purchasing products with minimal packaging
Reusing or donating unneeded products
Recycling acceptable materials
Composting yard and food scraps in their backyards