Waste prevention and recycling news for businesses
In this email:
Waste audit at Echo Shaw inspires students
Washington County staff recently assisted third graders at Echo Shaw Elementary School in Cornelius with a lunchtime waste audit. As they exited the cafeteria, students sorted their own waste into five categories -- food waste, liquid waste, milk cartons, mixed recycling and garbage. 

In its May 11 edition, the News-Times Forest Grove recapped the waste sort results and lessons the students learned. 

Don't miss your garbage or recycling day ever again
Washington County residents now have access to the new Garbage and Recycling Day tool for keeping track of garbage and recycling pickup schedules. With the free tool, you can:
  • Receive collection day reminders by phone, email or text.
  • Look up your garbage and recycling schedule.
  • Sync your collection schedule with your digital calendar. 
  • Get notified about schedule changes due to weather and holidays.
  • Look up how to recycle or dispose of items.
  • Get information on your mobile devices through the Garbage and Recycling Day app (Apple and Android).

Launch Garbage and Recycling Day

Apply to be a Master Recycler in Washington County
Master Recyclers are a volunteer corps of over 1,400 recycling enthusiasts who inspire and educate the community about waste prevention and recycling. Apply for the upcoming fall course in Washington County and get certified as a Master Recycler. Instruction topics include sustainable consumption, composting and recycling. The course is a blend of professional presentations, peer group discussion and project development.

More businesses are collecting food scraps
Village Inn in Tualatin collects food scraps in the front and back of house.
Washington County's commercial food scraps collection program started in 2014 as a pilot with 10 food-generating businesses. Since then, it has grown into a robust group of 105 businesses (and counting) across seven jurisdictions in the county. 
In that time, businesses in the county diverted nearly 6,500 tons of food waste from landfills -- which has environmental benefits equal to taking about 15,000 cars off the road!

Washington County businesses donate food to alleviate hunger and reduce waste
Cheesecake Factory donates soup to Good Neighbor Center.
By Paul Lask, Master Recycler
Each day in Washington County, roughly 67,000 residents find themselves in a living situation where they don't know where their next meal is coming from. Businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout Washington County -- such as Caruso Produce, Manaia Coffeehouse and Island Grill, and the Oregon Food Bank -- are working to tackle this problem, known as food insecurity, head on. 

New service to help divert construction waste from region's landfills
By Jordan A. Jordan, Earth Advantage
The Portland metropolitan region's current development boom has led to a surge in the number of building demolitions and major alterations, which has meant a significant increase in the amount of waste headed to area landfills. 

In an effort to turn waste into opportunity, Metro, our regional government, selected Earth Advantage to help develop the market for reclaimed building materials and divert as much reusable building material as possible from the landfill.
Choose reusable or recycled content dishware over "biodegradable"
The most sustainable dishware option is usually the one that's used over and over again. Reusable plates, cups and silverware are environmentally better than their disposable counterparts, even if the throw-away items could be recycled or composted.
A common misconception is that products labeled "compostable" or "biodegradable" are greener than paper or plastic serviceware. Depending on what the particular item is made from, there are several reasons why this usually isn't the case. 

Prevent waste at your workplace
Over  450  local businesses benefited from  FREE  tools, on-site assistance and training provided by the Washington County Solid Waste & Recycling Program last year. Contact us to receive help creating and maintaining successful recycling, composting and waste prevention programs.

The  Business Bulletin is produced by the Washington County Department of Health and Human Services, Solid Waste & Recycling Program, in cooperation with the cities of Banks, Cornelius, Durham, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin.