Master Recycler Composter Program

Program Contact: Cori Carlton, Master Gardener & Master Recycler Composter Program Manager
(360) 867-2162 •

Master Recycler Compost Logo

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 are provided.

2017 Master Recycler Composter (MRC) Volunteer Training


Passionate people who love to:

  • Recycle or compost
  • Re-use or re-purpose items
  • Reduce food waste
  • Raise community awareness

Do you have a passion for recycling, composting, and waste prevention? If so, then apply to become a Thurston County Master Recycler Composter (MRC) volunteer!

MRC volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness about reducing, recycling, and composting in Thurston County. Afterwards course graduates agree to give 25 hours of yearly service inspiring others to reduce waste at home and work.


Participants receive background and hands-on training over eight session from county and state educators.


2017 Training Class Dates:

Tuesday evenings, 6p.m. to 8:30p.m.

  • September 19th and 26th
  • October 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th

Saturday field experiences, 9a.m. to 1p.m.

  • September 30th
  • October 14th

Class Training Location: various training spaces around Olympia/Lacey area, exact locations will be given upon acceptance into the program.


Training fee: For those accepted into the program a $25 course fee will be collected at the first class. This fee covers the remaining training supply and field trip costs that are not subsidized by Thurston County Solid Waste Department and the Master Gardener Foundation of Thurston County.


A sampling of class topics include waste prevention, recycling processes and markets, home (yard and worm) composting, wasting less food, repurposing items, greener buying choices, community outreach, youth programming plus so much more.


If interested, please download the following application in either PDF or Word formats.

2017 MRC Application       2017 MRC Application


If room is still available, the last day to apply is September 12th by 5 p.m. Please note that this training is only offered every other year and space is limited. So don’t delay, apply today!



2017 MRC Training Flier


Not sure if this program will be a right fit for you?

Then attend an one of two informational nights. Come learn about the program and what it means to be a Master Recycler Composter volunteer. This includes program expectations as well as all the benefits you will receive being a Master Recycler Composter. The following sessions will allow you to see if the Master Recycler Composter program of Thurston County is a right fit for you.

*No pre-registration needed, please just show up.*

Wednesday, August 30th at 6:30 p.m.  OR  Friday, September 8th at 6:30 p.m.

Location: WSU Extension Office-3054 Carpenter Rd. SE, Olympia WA 98503



If you have further questions please contact Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator at or 360-867-2162.

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
  • Waste Less Food projects
  • Demonstration garden composting
  • Re-purposing projects
  • Special projects
  • Children’s programming
  • Individual interest projects

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, 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 an  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.