County to Remove Recycling from Island Market

It’s regrettable the County has decided to close the recycling station at the Island Market, along with four other similar locations, on January 1st. Local neighbors, with the Griffin Neighborhood Association, have worked in the past to ensure this location remains open, clean, and as little a burden to the Island Market as possible.

Long gone is the recycling station that used to occupy the Top Foods parking lot, in West Olympia.

The nearest station, but by no means the easiest to get to, for most of us, will be Summit Lake transfer station, 12133 Summit Lake Drive. And, the Summit Lake transfer station is only open on Sundays.

According to an article in today’s Olympian, “Expansion of curbside recycling programs also makes the free residential recycling centers, which have been around since 1992, a less-vital recycling tool, county solid waste education and outreach specialist Terri Thomas said.”

“It costs the county about $180,000 a year to operate the blue box residential recycling program through a contract with LeMay. The county must reduce its solid waste budget to respond to a slowing economy and reduced solid waste revenue because of increased recycling efforts countywide.”

In addition to the Summit Lake transfer station, free recycling will continue to be available at:

  • Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center, 2418 Hogum Bay Road N.E.
  • Rochester transfer station, 16500 Sargent Road (Saturdays and Sundays only)
  • Rainier transfer station, 13010 Rainier Acres Road S. (Fridays and Saturdays only)

Most residents within the Griffin School District can arrange for curbside pickup of recyclables. While curbside recycling is not free, it is easy, without the need to transport recyclable materials yourself.

Local recycling efforts will face a setback, as a result of this decision, and that’s unfortunate.

What are some of the other alternatives available to local residents? The Olympian runs an ongoing informational series, called “Where Do I Take My. . .” Click here to access the web page for that series.

Several alternatives exist for handling reusable stuff – that is, items that have more life still left in them. There is a local Freecycle group and also OlyReusables. These free groups allow members to post “offers” of usable items, made available for free, which can be claimed by other members of the group. Even more, members may post “Wanted” messages, in the hope that things they want can be given by members who have those things to give. And, the Department of Ecology sponsors a similar site, called ““.

What alternatives to the free recycling centers do you use? Click the “comment” link below, to leave your comments.

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