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Get started with composting for your Portland business

Portland, Oregon is one of the greenest cities in the United States. Their composting initiative is a great example of their commitment to eco-conscious practices. Starting a composting program at your Portland business is fairly simple, but there are some rules to be aware of.

The first thing to know is that the only items allowed under Portland’s commercial composting rules are food scraps, coffee filters, tea bags and certified compostable bags. Although paper is compostable, the system can’t handle large volumes of soiled paper, like paper towels. Make sure you use proper signage to clarify which items are allowed in the compost bins.

The residential composting program allows yard debris and select paper products because compostable materials from homes go to a different facility.

Best practices for composting at your business :

  1. Make composting as convenient as trash and recycling. Group all your containers together at a “waste station”.
  2. Use specific containers for each type of waste—garbage, compost and recycling.
  3. Communicate with your janitorial service. Arrange to have your compost bins emptied on a regular basis. This may need to happen daily to prevent bug problems and odor issues.
  4. Set up the compost bins in break rooms and kitchens. Use bins with lids to reduce odor and fly issues. Swinging door or foot operated containers offer a hands-free option.
  5. Use compostable bags for liners. The liners are not required, but if you skip them, your bins will need to be power washed on a regular basis.

Click here for printable guides, compostable bag information and more resources.

How to get started:

Work with your property manager to request a garbage and recycling company that also does composting. Click here for a list of permitted garbage and recycling companies in Portland, Oregon.