Portland, Oregon is one of the greenest run cities. One example of this is their composting initiatives.
What can be composted right now it is only food scraps. Although paper can be composted the system is not able to handle large volumes of soiled paper like paper towels. For regular paper use your recycling program. Make it clear through signage that only food is only allowed to be composted.
Coffee filters, tea bags and certified compostable bags are the only non food items allowed.
For private homes, yard debris and paper are allowed to go in the composting bin. Compostable materials from homes go to a different facility.
Some best practices:
1) Make composting as convenient as trash and recycling. Have all the containers together at a “waste station”.
2) Label all the containers with labels that can be found at this link:
Or maybe have different color containers. Blue for recycling, green for compost, and black/grey/red for trash.
3) Communicate with the janitorial service.
Set up how often the compost is to be emptied. It can be twice a week or once a day depending on needs. Most likely it will be daily to prevent bugs and odor issues.
4) Set up the composting containers in break rooms and kitchens. Have lids to reduce odor and fly issues. Swinging door or foot operated containers offer a hands free option.
5) Use compostable bags for liners. It is not required to have the liners, but it you don’t you will have to power wash the inside of the containers as they will get dirty and stinky.
Check this website for bag ideas:
How to get started:
Work with your property manager to request a garbage and recycling company that also does composting. These are the permitted garbage and recycling companies in Portland, Oregon.