The 2030 Regional Waste Plan is both a vision for greater Portland’s garbage and recycling system and a blueprint for achieving that vision. The plan includes a robust framework for tracking progress. The annual progress reports track performance, mark successes, observe trends and identify areas needing improvement.
While there’s still a lot of work ahead, much has been accomplished since embarking on this journey to improve the regional garbage and recycling system.
The 2022 Regional Waste Plan progress report
This report is the third in a series of annual progress reports and covers the calendar year 2022.
Metro brings people together to improve the garbage, recycling, reuse and repair system. Four years in, the work to implement the plan continues to elevate collaboration between Metro, city, county and state governments, community-based organizations and private sector service providers.
In 2022, local government and community partners made significant progress in three priority areas:
- Preventing waste and promoting a healthy environment
- Making an excellent, accessible and resilient garbage and recycling system
- Sharing prosperity
The report underscores the region’s collective progress toward the strategic priorities in the Regional Waste Plan. In terms of work done on the plan’s actions, over half (55%) of the 108 actions in the plan are currently underway. 66% of the actions relating to waste prevention, reuse and recycling recovery are on track to reaching their goals, and out of the 39 actions focused directly on advancing equity, 62% are on track.
Many of the numeric indicators measured since the first report show progress. We have made progress as region increasing diversity of solid waste committees – sharing decision-making with communities who have historically been left out of the benefits of the garbage and recycling system. With regional investments into RID patrol and community-led cleanups, we have also made significant progress addressing dumped garbage in our most impacted communities.
While our region has made strides on many goals and actions, reaching our waste reduction, environmental impact and equity goals is a work in progress and we have more work to do. The planning work that is underway to improve access and quality of garbage and recycling service and increase opportunities for reuse and waste prevention are crucial steps needed to achieve the visionary goals of the plan.
Featured 2022 highlights:
- Metro’s Investment & Innovation grants awarded $2 million during the 2022 grant cycle. Community Warehouse was awarded a grant to establish a warehouse in Gresham. The new warehouse will also provide space for other reuse organizations, including ReClaim It, Repair PDX and Community Cycling Center.
- Over 6,700 youth were reached through Clackamas County and Metro’s school-based education programs. Classroom activities focused on how to extend the life of natural resources and prevent waste.
- Metro’s Regional Refresh Fund sponsored 73 projects supporting cleanup needs in underserved communities, with 94% taking place in an equity focus area.
- Planning and engagement on a new regional Garbage and Recycling System Facilities Plan aims to increase recycling and reuse opportunities to future reduce waste.
- In 2022, Metro’s RID Patrol removed over 1,160 tons of garbage that had been dumped on public lands.
- The Regional Waste Advisory Committee is tasked with guiding implementation of the 2030 Regional Waste Plan, bringing perspectives from communities, local governments and garbage, recycling and reuse businesses and nonprofits. In 2022, members worked to make a better recycling system for all Oregonians through providing feedback on implementation of the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act that reflects the diversity of the region.