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Washington State University

Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Volunteer Training

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

What is the Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Program?

The Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Program is a county-based volunteer service program managed through the WSU Thurston County Extension office in Olympia.  Master Recycler Composter (MRC) volunteers are the cornerstone of the program and are the go-to resource for Thurston County residents seeking research-based, localized information on recycling, waste reduction, and composting.

What do Master Recycler Composter volunteers do?

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.

MRC volunteers serve with local organizations, community members, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, or at special events encouraging waste prevention, recycling, and composting. On-going continuing education opportunities are provided to all MRC volunteers to stay up to date on the ever-changing landscape of recycling regulations, waste reduction techniques, and composting science.

Thurston County MRC volunteers agree to give a minimum of 25 hours of yearly service to put their knowledge to use in our community and to maintain volunteer certification. This includes 5 hours of continuing education and 20 hours of volunteer activities.

Being an MRC volunteer takes time and commitment, and may not be for everyone, but it does have many benefits. Thurston County Master Recycler Composter volunteers:

  • Have access to continuing education opportunities to expand their knowledge and better serve the public in the fields of waste reduction, recycling, and composting;
  • Make a positive difference in Thurston County;
  • Develop friendships with other passionate MRC volunteers;
  • Have fun!
How do I become a certified Master Recycler Composter volunteer?

If you have a passion for recycling, waste reduction, and composting and want to serve your community as a volunteer to raise awareness, then consider becoming a Thurston County Master Recycler Composter volunteer (MRC).

All certified MRC volunteers go through the MRC Volunteer Training to help prepare them for their role as volunteers.  After completion of training, MRC volunteers commit to a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer service per year to maintain certification. Volunteer service must be completed within Thurston County.

To become an MRC Volunteer you must be 18 years of age or older, and either live, work, or operate a business in Thurston County.

What is the Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Volunteer Training?

The annual MRC Volunteer Training is taught by WSU Extension staff, Thurston County staff who specialize in recycling and waste reduction, and regional experts.

Training 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.  Training focuses on Thurston County and Washington specific information regarding solid waste management practices, recycling processes, etc.

MRC Volunteer Training Information:

MRC Volunteer Training is held annually, September to November.

How do I apply to the Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Volunteer Training?

The next training will start in September 2024. 2024 training information will be posted here in July 2024.

If you are interested in learning about our other programs/services, then consider joining our listserv. Subscribers will receive a quarterly newsletter with announcements for upcoming events and activities hosted by the Master Recycler Composter Program & WSU Master Gardener Programs of Thurston County. Your contact information will not be shared, and you can unsubscribe yourself at any time.


Where can I find more information about the Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Program and who in Thurston County can I contact if I have more questions about becoming an MRC volunteer?

The Program Coordinator for the Master Recycler Composter Program in Thurston County is Cori Carlton, and she can be reached at or (360) 867-2162

Thurston County Master Recycler Composter Program website

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WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Persons will disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information or reasonable accommodation need to contact Cori Carlton at 3054 Carpenter Rd. SE, Olympia WA 98503, 360-867-2162, at least two weeks prior to the beginning of training.