Reuse and Recycling Opportunities Abound

You’ve probably heard “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” before, but the challenge is how to fit those kinds of activities in our busy day-to-day lives. While the “reduce” part of that equation may pose the greatest challenge, the “reuse” and “recycle” parts get easier with each passing year. Here are a few key online resources you can keep close to hand, to assist you in doing your part.


If you can’t reuse something, maybe someone else can. There are lots of places to either sell your used stuff or simply give it away.

In Thurston County there are a couple of exceptional organizations that will help you to get useful items out of your hands and into the hands of someone who can put them to use. — all items are $200 or less. — has no price limits. — requires all items to be free. — similar to Freecycle, this local online group requires all items donated to be free. You post an email message with an “offer” of  your thng. Group members respond and you select one lucky person to receive the item. You make arranegments to hand the item off to that person and tell the group the item has now been “taken.” There are nearly 5000 subscribers to this local group.
Got something to recycle that cannot be accepted into your curbside recycling bin? The best local online resource for addressing recycling (and, for that matter, disposal) needs is the Thurston County Department of Water & Waste Management “Where Do I Take My?” page at There you will find links to programs and facilities that will take many of the unused and castoff stuff generated in the ordinary home. Hazardous waste, metal and styrofoam recycling, electronics and construction materials, and much more are all listed on this page.

Planning Commission to Meet on Critical Areas Ordinance – Aug 25

‘Not much notice on this meeting, folks, but today Thurston County has released an announcement that the Planning Commission will have a meeting regarding draft language changing to county’s Critical Areas Ordinance. The meeting is the Wednesday, August 25. Here’s the County’s press release:

OLYMPIA –The Thurston County Planning Commission will hold a special meeting on August 25th 2010. The primary purpose of the special meeting is to review and amend draft language which will be used to update the Thurston County Critical Areas Ordinance in Chapter 17.15 of the Thurston County Code. No final action is expected at the meeting. The proposed changes are part of the 2009-10 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Official Docket.

For an agenda of the meeting, please go to:

For more information on the update to the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance, please go to:

The special meeting will begin at 6:30 pm August 25th at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502 in Room 280. The room for the meeting has changed from Room 152, which is the regular meeting room. There will be an opportunity for public comment at the beginning of the meeting, and throughout the review process. More information is available in hard copy in the Thurston County Permit Assistance Center.

Science Café “Assessing the Health of Puget Sound Sediments” Sep 14

When: 7:00 pm, Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Where: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee House, 516 Capitol Way S. Olympia, WA, phone (360) 786-6717.
Batdorf & Bronson has three locations in Olympia. Science Café meets in the downtown coffee house on Capitol Way. On-street parking is available on Legion, Capitol Way, Columbia Street, and Water Street. After 6 p.m., there is parking available at Heritage Bank on Columbia Street between 5th and Legion.

Our topic in September is Assessing the Health of Puget Sound Sediments

Many chemicals, from industrial activities as well as those used for personal use, find their way into Washington’s groundwater, rivers and streams. Some chemicals bind to soil particles suspended in the water and are ultimately carried to Puget Sound, where they settle to the bottom, accumulate, and can cause harm to bottom-dwelling organisms (benthos) and those higher in the food chain.

The Washington State Department of Ecology has been measuring the level and toxicity of chemicals and the health of the benthos in Puget Sound sediments since 1989 in a series of geographically “nested” study areas. Changes in the baseline sediment quality data over time have been gathered to characterize what is occurring in these study areas.

Maggie Dutch, Senior Marine Biologist at the Washington State Department of Ecology, will present an overview of DOE’s Puget Sound sediment monitoring work, what it tells us about the health of Puget Sound, and where the program fits into the network of Puget Sound monitoring activities.

Science Café of Olympia welcomes comments and suggestions on topics, speakers, and how they can improve their meetings. Also, please feel free to pass this notice on to like-minded friends.

Science Café of Olympia provides an informal atmosphere where people both with and without scientific background can meet to gain a better understanding of interesting topics in science and technology. After a brief presentation by an expert in the field, the meeting will be opened to discussions. Science Cafés are found nationwide and are loosely affiliated with the U.K.-based Cafe Scientifique, an international organization promoting public engagement with science. The website is produced by the Science Unit of WGBH in Boston in association with Sigma Xi. Support for Science Café of Olympia is provided in part by the Puget Sound Chapter of The American Chemical Society.

Science Café of Olympia thanks Batdorf & Bronson and its staff for welcoming us to their delightful gathering spot.

Local Food Bank Coordinator Needs Your Help, Donations of Food and Toiletries

Lindy Vincent, at St. Christopher’s Community Church, has been helping 14 families right here on our peninsula and Lindy could use regular help. She picks-up and delivers food from the Thurston County Food Bank, and also helps families with other necessities like gas to get to work or a job interview, clothing, furniture, moving them to new housing and so much more. She if often using her own funds to pay for these items – without reimbursement!

If you can help, especially on a regular basis, please give Lindy a call at 866- 6781.

Please also remember that our food bank families are supplemented with additional food and other donations made by your friends and neighbors right here in the Griffin area. Families can especially use items like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap and dish soap. Call St. Christopher’s at 866-2111 or drop your donations of non-perishable food and toiletries to the Griffin Fire Department’s main station.

Thank you for your generosity!