2016 Supplement to the Solid Waste Management Plan

Our System

System Goal
We support and expand opportunities to minimize waste.
This goal aims to ensure Pierce County and the City of Tacoma provide the infrastructure and resources to meet our solid waste needs. It focuses on making improvements to the system that make it easier for each of us to reduce, reuse and recycle.
System Objectives
S-1 Pierce County evaluates the feasibility of standardized recycling, yard waste and garbage collection in all sectors of the county.
S-2 Pierce County identifies sustainable funding for waste reduction, recycling, environmental education and code enforcement programs which maintains a reasonable fund balance, satisfies operational and capital obligations and aligns with sources of funds.
S-3 Pierce County and the City of Tacoma implement strategies to expand the variety of materials targeted for diversion at transfer stations, where feasible.
S-4 In Pierce County, people can recycle away from home as easily as they can at home.

Facilities in
Pierce County
Pierce County, the City of Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) work together to provide solid waste service to Pierce County's 820,000+ residents.
Tacoma's system serves Tacoma and Ruston. The Town of Ruston has its own collection system but has an agreement with Tacoma for disposal through the Tacoma management system.
Pierce County's system serves everyone else, except for JBLM and the Pierce County portions of Auburn and Pacific (which are served by King County).
pc map

Curbside Collection
Service Provider
Area Served
City of Tacoma Environmental Services
Tacoma, Ruston (for disposal)
LeMay Pierce County Refuse
Anderson Island, Dupont, Eatonville, Graham, Lakewood, Parkland, parts of Puyallup, Roy, Spanaway, Steilacoom
Murrey's Disposal
Bonney Lake, Browns Point, Buckley, Carbonado, Edgewood, Fife, Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula, Milton, Orting, Purdy, parts of Puyallup, South Prairie, Sumner, Wilkeson
University Place Refuse and Recycling
Fircrest, University Place

Standardized Service
Across Pierce County the collection methods, pickup frequency and container use for trash, recycling and yard waste vary significantly. This creates confusion for residents, especially those who move from one part of the county to another.
Residents of cities and towns must subscribe to curbside service, but it is optional for residents of unincorporated Pierce County.
These variations in service do not give an impression of a coordinated system. We want to explore the feasibility of offering identical and seamless service across Pierce County.
recycling cartyard waste carttrash cart

Where Should You Be Able To Recycle?
Convenient curbside recycling is available to most Pierce County residents; however in public spaces, away from home, it can be very difficult to recycle.
Making it easier for residents to recycle away from home will improve recycling rates and reinforce the importance of recycling.

Increased Opportunities for Reuse and Recycling
Some of the materials brought to transfer stations in Pierce County could be reused or recycled (e.g., bicycles, mattresses, clean wood waste and metal).
Sometimes these materials are pulled out of the trash at the transfer station and sent to recycling or reuse facilities, but we could be doing more. We are missing opportunities to divert material from the landfill and potentially increase recycling revenue.
Some of the opportunities may include providing space for donation trucks, collecting building materials, bicycles and other reusable items, or recycling clothing and textiles.
recycling options

can do
What Can I Do?
  • Look around for recycling bins—do you find any?
  • Can your children recycle at school?
  • Use our online recycling menu.