Healthy homes and gardens
Warmer and drier weather is on the way! As you get started on your spring cleaning and garden prep, consider some healthier options for your home and garden. Simple household ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, plant-based liquid soap and hydrogen peroxide can be used to make easy, inexpensive cleaning products. Use this handy database, Grow Smart, Grow Safe, to search more environmentally friendly ways to manage garden pests.

If you do have home or garden chemicals that you would like to dispose of, please keep the following in mind:

  • Old paint can be dropped off free of charge at a Metro facility or a PaintCare collection center.

  • Plastic containers that held household hazardous waste and are completely empty can be thrown in the garbage. Do not rinse these containers as that will result in chemicals going down the drain. Metal aerosol containers that held household hazardous waste can go in the mixed recycling if they are completely empty. Discard the cap; the nozzle is ok. Containers that have any chemicals remaining should be taken to a Metro facility or neighborhood collection event for disposal.

  • Download our Garbage and Recycling Day app to get reminders about collection events happening near you and to search disposal options for thousands of items.
Welcome our new educators
You may recognize our new Community Outreach Specialist, Maycell Villanueva. She served as our AmeriCorps member last year and we are excited to welcome her back! Maycell is focused on providing technical assistance to multifamily properties and educating the community on recycling and waste prevention. Contact us if you are interested in technical assistance for a property you manage.

Ricardo Palazuelos is our new bilingual (English/Spanish) Community Outreach Specialist. Ricardo's primary focus will be waste prevention and recycling education and outreach to the Latino community. Contact us if you are connected with a community organization and would like to invite us to give a presentation or table at your event.

Kate De Cesare is one of our new Green Business Advisors. She provides technical assistance to businesses interested in reducing waste, recycling right and certifying as a Green Business Leader in Washington County. Contact us if you own or work for a business that would be interested in free resources and technical assistance through our Green Business Leaders program.

Calvin Agricola is another new Green Business Advisors. He is focused on assisting businesses to implement food scraps collection. Contact us if you own or work for a business that would like free technical assistance to reduce food waste, set-up a food scraps collection or learn more about how to donate to local food collection agencies .
Eating on the go? Here's what to do with plastic takeout containers
This tip comes from Metro's Recycle or Not campaign. The new featured item is plastic takeout containers.

When you’re done enjoying your takeout food or drink, keep the plastic container it came in out of your recycling bin. These containers belong in the trash.

Ideas to reduce waste

While you can’t put plastic takeout containers in the recycling bin, you can find ways to use fewer of them. To reduce waste, bring a reusable cup with you when you go out. Keep it someplace convenient, like your car or your bag. Then, when getting a drink to go, ask to use your own cup. 

Since plastic takeout containers are usually used just once, they result in a lot of extra waste. If you’re not in a rush, you may want to consider eating in. Eating in instead of taking out even once or twice a month will help reduce waste. 

One exception to the rule

Just about every plastic takeout container belongs in the trash—but there is one exception. The only plastic takeout container that goes in your recycling bin is the round, clear container that hold things like soup. Go ahead and recycle this container (but not its lid)!

Recycle or Not

Recycling can be confusing. For help recycling right, check out and @recycleornot on Instagram. Recycle or Not is a handy resource for sorting items known to be confusing to local recyclers. Check the lists on the website, and then head to Instagram to ask recycling experts for help sorting your items. (For recycling help in Spanish, check out and @reciclarono on Instagram.) It won’t take long, but it will make a difference for the environment.

Questions about other items?

Use Washington County's What to Recycle and Where tool!

Available through our website , or as a feature on our Garbage and Recycling Day app , What to Recycle and Where lets you search thousands of items including mattresses, batteries and more to find local options for disposal.
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