Thurston County WSU Extension
Thurston County > Gardening > Master Composters


Master Recycler Composter Program


The Master Recycler Composters of Thurston County is a volunteer service program. Master Recycler Composter (MRC) volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness of opportunities to prevent waste, recycle and compost in Thurston County.  

Course graduates agree to give a minimum of 25 hours of yearly service as they put their new skills to use. They work with local organizations, community members, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, or at special events encouraging waste prevention, recycling and composting. MRC's can design their own projects or work existing ones. On-going continuing education opportunities will be provided.


MRC Volunteer Yearly Service Commitments:

Master Recycler Composters will be asked to give a minimum of 25 service hours per year

        • 20 hours of “your choice” volunteer activities.
        • 5 hours of Continuing Education (CE) hours.

20 hours of service can be earned in one or more of numerous Master Recycler Composter program areas.

This could include:

  • Community outreach booth opportunities
  • Events
  • Workshops
  • Individual interest projects
  • Demonstration Garden Composting
  • Waste station staffing
  •  Special projects
  • Children’s Programming


The 5 continuing education (CE) hours can be earned by: (only a sampling of potential activities)

  • Attend educational offerings sponsored by our program. Field trips to Silver Springs, Material Recycling Facilities’s etc.
  •  Attend other waste reduction related learning opportunities/festivals within the community and region.
  • Read current waste reduction books. (Recycling, composting, reducing your carbon footprint etc.)
  • Watch current waste reduction movies. (Check out movies from the Thurston County Solid Waste lending library.)


ACTIVE members will be asked to record all service hours volunteered on a monthly basis via a  on-line system.


ACTIVE members will be asked to complete and return a Master Recycler Composter Recommitment form on a yearly basis. 


Every other year ACTIVE members will be subject to a Washington state background check.  This is done to protect the public in which we serve as well as the other Master Recycler Composter team members.






If you have a strong desire to learn more about recycling & composting, and are excited to share with others in the community, then consider becoming a Master Recycler Composter volunteer!

The Master Recycler Composter programs trains volunteers every September - October. Applications and training information will be available on this website after June 1st.   

For questions or to be added to the 2014 training interest list please contact:

Cori Carlton, Master Recycler Composter Program Manager

360-867-2162 or by e-mail




FREE Composting Workshops  

Our 2013 season is complete. Check back in 2014 for an updated schedule.

To learn more visit our composting demonstration gardens. 



Directions to Dirt Works Demonstration Garden: (Open April-October)

From I-5 take HWY 101 towards Shelton. Get off at Black Lake Blvd. exit and at the bottom of the ramp turn right. Get in your left lane and make a left onto Cooper Point Road. Follow this until you reach Capital Mall Drive. Make a left onto Capital Mall Drive and follow it until you see the Yauger Park and Dirt Works sign on the corner of Alta Street. Turn right onto Alta Street. Follow this road into the park and drive through the parking lot until it ends. The garden entrance is located at the end of the parking lot.

If you use Google Maps or Map Quest place the words “Yauger Park, Olympia WA” into the search box to see an area map.




Directions to Closed Loop Park Demonstration Garden: (Open year round, same time as the Waste and Recovery Center)

Located just inside the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center entrance at

2418 Hogum Bay Road in Lacey (Hawk’s Prairie).

From downtown Olympia take I-5 North. Take exit 111, the ramp has two lanes. Stay in the left lane and follow it to the traffic light on Marvin Road. Turn left onto Marvin Road; make sure you are in the right lane. Once you go through the light turn right onto Hogum Bay Road (a Mexican restaurant on this corner).  Take the second road into the Waste and Recovery Center entrance. Look for a small “Closed Loop Park” sign on the fence at that intersection. Follow the road in and the garden is located on the right, just past the dog park.



Directions to Olympia Farmers Market Demonstration Garden: (Open year round)

 Located on the East side of the Market on the North end of Capitol Way in downtown Olympia.  


























Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office.  All programs comply with federal, state, and county regulations.

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WSU Extension, Thurston County, 5033 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia WA 98502, 360-867-2151, Non-Discrimination, Contact Us