Businesses are working for a cleaner, greener future by recycling and reducing waste
Waste reduction specialists from your local jurisdiction can provide free, customized assistance to all types of businesses throughout greater Portland to help you:
- identify items that can be recycled or composted
- set up recycling and composting service or work with your custodial staff
- form a "green team" to motivate co-workers
- purchase sustainable products
- earn recognition or certification for your recycling or waste reduction success
- train and educate your employees
- make connections to water, energy, transportation and other sustainability assistance
- get introduced to other local businesses using sustainable practices.
Business recycling requirements
All kinds of businesses throughout greater Portland are doing their part for the environment by recycling at work. But, during an average year, businesses still send more than 100,000 tons of recyclable paper and containers to local landfills.
To encourage more recycling, Metro adopted business recycling requirements that require businesses to:
- recycle paper, cardboard and containers (aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass)
- ensure there are internal collection bins for these recyclables
- post recycling signs and instructions for staff indicating which items go in the recycling bins.
Business food waste requirements
Food is the largest portion of garbage the greater Portland area throws away every year. Food makes up 28% of the total waste that grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, commercial kitchens, food manufacturers and food distributors send to the landfill annually. In July 2018, Metro adopted a policy that requires certain types of businesses to keep their food out of the garbage. Originally slated to begin in March 2020, the program implementation date has been delayed due to the COVID-19 virus and the devastating effects it has had on food businesses. New implementation dates have not yet been decided due to the uncertainty of the situation, but it is unlikely to be before 2021. When implementation begins, covered business will need to:
- separate their food scraps from other garbage
- have composting containers present on site
- have adequate compost pick up service for their business.
To support businesses, Metro, DEQ and local government partners have created an online guide to reducing food waste, including case studies and tools on how businesses can reduce food waste through composting, prevention and donation strategies.
Get free customized assistance
Waste reduction specialists with local jurisdictions can help you meet these requirements and set up a recycling and waste reduction program in your workplace.
For assistance, call Metro at 503-234-3000.
City of Beaverton
City of Gresham
City of Portland
Recycle at Work is brought to you in partnership by Metro, City of Beaverton, City of Gresham, City of Wood Village, City of Portland, Clackamas County and Washington County.