Thurston County’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee reports successful activities for the year


Last November 9, Thurston County’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) gave its annual report when meeting with the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC).

RCW 70A.205.110(3) mandated each county to establish a local SWAC to assist with developing and evaluating solid waste handling and disposal rules, policies, and ordinances before adoption.

Solid Waste Manager Jeff Bickford led the discussion, focusing on the committee's accomplishments since its 2022 inception.

“The SWAC here in Thurston County was established back in 1989, and their purpose here is to review programs and facilities and advise the County Commissioners on rules, ordinances, and policies, and review and work with us on generating the solid waste management plan which we perform a handful of years,” said Bickford.

The county’s SWAC has 14current members composed of city officials, residents, and industry consultants. It is above the minimum set by legislation, which is nine.

  • Chair: Renee Radcliff Sinclair, District #3 Resident
  • Vice Chair: Ed Kunkel, City of Lacey
  • Representative: Carolina Mejia, Thurston County Commissioner
  • Representative: Joe Downing, Port of Olympia
  • Representative: Joan Cathey, City of Tumwater
  • Representative: Lisa Parshley, City of Olympia
  • Representative: Joseph Richardson, City of Yelm
  • Representative: Elaine Klamn, City of Tenino
  • Representative: Kiersten Presley, Town of Bucoda
  • Representative: Greg Schoenbachler, Agricultural Interest
  • Representative: Richard Moon, District #2 Resident
  • Representative: Vacant, Industry – Refuse
  • Representative: Chad Sutter, Industry – Recycling
  • Representative: David Nightingale, Business Interest
  • Representative: Laura Busby, Washington State Department of Ecology (non-voting)
  • Representative: Vacant, City of Rainier

For 2022-2023, the committee made recommendations on the SWAC committee membership ordinance update, recommended the preferred alternative for the Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) reconfiguration project, and reviewed the proposed South County Transfer Station community engagement and siting study process.

The SWAC also monitored and gave feedback on legislative bills/concepts, toured a regional material recovery facility (Pioneer Recycling in Tacoma), received educational presentations on numerous solid waste-related subjects, and provided input on the draft compost procurement ordinance.

“For the upcoming year, some of the projects and topics that the SWAC will be looking at considering and reviewing and, in some cases, making recommendations on is the WARC reconfiguration design,” shared Bickford.

Along with the redesign, the SWAC will also begin on the Proposed South County Transfer Station, Solid waste ordinance updates in the minimum service levels, and Climate mitigation actions such as solar panel installations.


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