Washington County Launches Food Scrap Recycling

Photo: Ford, Brad

Starting October 1, community members in urban unincorporated Washington County can include food scraps in their yard debris roll carts.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved the new program along with collection rate changes in June 2023. As of October 1, all urban areas and cities in Washington County, except Banks, will offer food scraps composting collection service to single-family homes.

“We’re excited to offer food scraps collection service to our community members,” said Thomas Egleston, Solid Waste & Recycling manager. “A 2016 Oregon Department of Environmental Quality study found that almost 30% of residential garbage is food. When food starts to break down in landfills, it releases methane gas, which traps heat in our atmosphere and contributes to climate change. The good news is community members can help reduce food waste sent to landfills by participating in a curbside compost collection.”

Participation in food scraps collection is optional and easy. Current collection schedules will remain the same. Community members can collect food scraps in containers they already have, like plastic tubs or takeout containers, or they can buy a kitchen pail. Include all food like raw meat, eggshells, kitchen scraps and uneaten leftovers. Empty the kitchen container into the yard debris roll cart every few days and wash container regularly to prevent odors and pests. 

For more information about this new program, visit https://www.washingtoncountyor.gov/swr/composting-home.

Source: Washington County

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