The 2030 Regional Waste Plan is the blueprint for how we plan for and manage the impacts of waste in greater Portland. Learn about the progress Metro and partners have made implementing this ambitious plan.
Metro and partners are working towards a future where the people of the region use fewer natural resources, throw away less and recover more. We do this through public policy and education efforts to support better purchasing and consumption choices.
This priority area covers three 2030 Regional Waste Plan goals related to product design, manufacturing, consumption and use.
Highlights of 2022:
- New plastics legislation banned polystyrene, phasing out some of the most wasteful single-use plastic products, and allows restaurants to provide reusable container options.
- Metro helped support the adoption of strong administrative rules to guide implementation of the Mattress Stewardship Program. The statewide program will make it easier to recycle and reuse unwanted mattresses and is set to launch in 2024.
- Metro and partners have been addressing food waste through technical assistance to schools, businesses and media campaigns.
Some of the largest successes in 2022 set the stage for major progress toward improving our aging recycling system. Metro, cities and counties brought 2030 Regional Waste Plan values into rulemaking and engagement for the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act.
The state-wide update to the recycling system is intended to make recycling easier, expand services, upgrade facilities and reduce plastic pollution. Metro is participating in the rule making process to advocate for a larger collection list, responsible end market for recyclables materials, improved access for people living in apartments and livable wages for workers.
Christa McDermott, director of Community Environmental Services at Portland State University and member of the Regional Waste Advisory Committee, hopes the Recycling Modernization Act leads to a better waste prevention and recycling system for all Oregonians.
“We could do so much better; we need to conserve resources, the alternative is not ending recycling and waste prevention but making a really excellent system to use our resources wisely,” McDermott said.