Businesses generate over half the waste in our region. To help increase business recycling, you have a responsibility to meet local regulations to separate certain materials for recycling, have identifiable internal bins and educational signs for employees. To help you be in compliance with these requirements, we provide free tools and support.
Effective 2009, all workplaces — including businesses, schools, public agencies and non-profit organizations—are required to recycle the materials listed below, have internal containers designated for recycling, post signs showing employees what can be recycled, and at least once a year educate employees on the guidelines of what is allowed in the program.
Separate these materials for recycling:
- Mixed paper and cardboard
- Plastic bottles, jugs, tubs and buckets
- Glass (collected separately)
Everyone in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties can include the same items in their recycling at work and home. Businesses with dumpster or cart-based garbage service have access to mixed recycling service as part of the fee.
For more information about the requirements, view Clackamas County Code (see Chapter 10.03.145 Business Recycling Requirement).
Effective March 2021, businesses that cook, assemble, process, serve, or sell food (or does so as a service provider for other enterprises), and generates more than 4 roll-carts per week (or 1,000 pounds) of food waste are required to separate food scraps from garbage.
The regulation only applies to wasted food disposed of by employees or in back of house areas. You are not required to collect food scraps that have been disposed of directly by customers in front-of-house operations.
Property owners and managers must allow for the collection of food waste by these businesses or help secure the service for lessees that are covered under the requirement.
This policy is being phased in over three years starting with the largest food waste generators in March 2021. All affected businesses must be in compliance by September 30, 2023. The largest food generators will receive the following notification letter in March 2021:
- New Food Scraps Collection Requirement (English)
Food-related businesses in the cities of Happy Valley, Milwaukie, Wilsonville and the unincorporated areas of Clackamas County within the Metro boundary (Oak Grove and 82nd Ave) with garbage service have access to food scraps collection service as part of the fee. We can help identify costs of service in Lake Oswego, Oregon City and West Linn.
Learn how to set up a food scraps collection program.
Single-use bag ban
Effective January 2020, retail stores and restaurants are prohibited from providing single-use checkout bags to customers. Businesses may still provide reusable or recycled content paper bags, and in some instances must charge a fee for providing the bag.
Single-use plastic straws in food service facilities
Effective January 2020, food service establishments are restricted from providing plastic, single-use straws to customers unless the customer is in/on their vehicle, or specifically requested. They are now available by request only.
We’re here to help you meet and maintain compliance. Every year we provide hundreds of workplaces with free tools and support to make recycling easier for their employees. We offer the following at no charge:
- Virtual consultations and customized assistance
- Virtual presentations and staff trainings
- Customized posters and educational flyers
- Curbside delivery of resources
- Help navigating waste options and service with your franchised waste hauler
Beyond Recycling to Sustainability
We also help workplaces go beyond basic recycling to reduce waste, operate more efficiently and receive recognition for their sustainability efforts. Contact us today!