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.
2022 Regional Waste Plan progress report
Metro and partners are working to create a future where all people have equitable access to the benefits of the garbage, recycling, reuse and repair economies. This means making solid waste careers and raising wages for the lowest paid workers.
Part of sharing prosperity is also sharing access to decision-making and leadership opportunities. In the past few years, waste advisory committees were reshaped to include perspectives of underrepresented communities and elevate community voices in policy decisions.
There are sixteen actions related to sharing prosperity and these actions aim to:
- Increase leadership of youth and adults from marginalized communities.
- Increase garbage and recycling revenue to benefit people of color and other marginalized groups.
- Increase wages and benefits for all jobs in the garbage and recycling industry.
- Increase diversity of the garbage and recycling industry at all levels.
Highlights of 2022:
- Clackamas County hosted their first Master Recycler community design course with Red Lodge Transition Services, a Native American-led nonprofit, which provides cultural programing to incarcerated people as well as reentry assistance to people upon release.
- Metro’s Regional Refresh Fund sponsored 73 projects supporting cleanup needs in underserved communities, with 94% of the projects taking place in an equity focus area.
- The Driving Diversity program trained and placed low-income Portlanders into recycling and waste hauling careers in the City of Portland, with priority given to women and people of color. Five classes with a total of 45 participants have graduated since the program began.
Metro and partners work to empower marginalized communities through funding for waste prevention and recovery initiatives. Once example is the Environmental Promoter program, which brings communities together to design culturally specific sustainability projects.
In 2022, Centro Cultural, in collaboration with Metro and Washington County, graduated 17 environmental promotors, called Promotores Ambientales, who are volunteers focused on sustainability, climate protection, reducing toxics, composting and recycling. The cohort engaged community members at wellness fairs, workshops and hazardous waste collection events.
Program Manager Sergio Garcia-Cruz said the program reaches people who want to learn about environmental sustainability and become leaders. He said the program gives back to the Latinx community by promoting ancestral ways to care for the environment.
“The Latinx community has to go back to its roots, remember that our grandparents and parents already had a certain idea of recycling and conserving the environment. Respect for nature. It is up to young people to continue and increase learning about the environment and its care,” Garcia-Cruz said.