Food Scraps Management

Businesses are the source of 44 percent of all landfill-bound waste generated in the region and food scraps make up about 25 percent of that. 

Landfilled food scraps break down and generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas. When food is donated and diverted from the landfill, it helps prevent food insecurity or can be turned into compost or energy to be used again.

Prevent Waste in the First Place

By streamlining menus, supply orders and food preparation, businesses can reduce the amount of food scraps produced before the food is even served. Monitor the food scraps your organization throws away and identify creative solutions to prevent waste.

For example, staff at two Intel business dining facilities in Hillsboro utilized the LeanPath food waste tracking systems to track food preparation area waste on a daily basis for one year. Through training and implementing creative reuse solutions in the menus, the kitchen staff was able to reduce food waste by nearly 50 percent. This resulted in an estimated savings of 62,000 pounds of food and more than $60,000! To learn more about this project, download the report. PDF icon

Donate Edible Food

Caruso Produce donates food

Caruso Produce donates edible food to
the Oregon Food Bank.

Twenty-seven percent of children in Oregon suffer from food insecurity according to a 2012 Feeding America study. By donating surplus food to food rescue agencies your business can help in the fight against hunger.

The benefits of donating edible food include: 

  • Reducing waste and your business' disposal costs.
  • Positioning your business as a partner in the fight to end hunger.
  • Qualifying for enhanced tax deductions. 
Businesses that donate food in good faith are protected from liability by federal and state Good Samaritan laws (ORS Chapter 30.890 and 30.892 and the Bill Emerson Food Donation Act).

To learn more about food donation in Washington County, download the Food Donation flyer or contact the Washington County Solid Waste & Recycling Program. PDF icon


More than 60 food rescue agencies operate in Washington County. These resources can help your business develop a donation partnership with a suitable agency.

  • Metro's Fork It Over! program is a region-wide food donation resource. Search the Fork It Over! database to identify food rescue agencies for your business to partner with.
  • The Oregon Food Bank’s Regional Food Bank Network will accept edible food directly from growers, processors, grocery stores, retailers and distributors. To donate edible food, contact The Oregon Food Bank by calling 503-490-8972.
  • St. Vincent de Paul's Food Recovery Program is a network system of more than 80 local service agencies collecting excess edible food from grocers, universities, hospitals, restaurants and caterers for redistribution. To donate edible food, contact St. Vincent de Paul by calling 503-234-1114.

Collection Programs

Food Only Poster
Educational materials and
collection containers may be
available to your business
at no cost.

Food scraps collection is available to businesses in the cities of Hillsboro, Tualatin and Sherwood, as well as unincorporated Washington County.

All types of food are acceptable including:

  • Bread and baked goods
  • Dairy including eggshells
  • Meat and fish including small bones
  • Vegetables and fruits

The following items are not allowed in the food scrap collection programs:

  • All non-food items such as paper, cardboard, service ware or plastics
  • Grease or oil
  • Liquids
Food scraps collection is good for business. Businesses may experience less garbage, increased marketing opportunities and a boost in employee morale. 

Most food scraps collected in Washington County are processed in Oregon. Materials are either sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in Junction City or a windrow compost facility outside of Corvallis. The anaerobic digestion facility converts the food scraps into fertilizer and enough electricity to power 2,200 Oregon homes annually. Windrow composting generates a nutrient-rich compost product that is applied to local farms and gardens.

The Washington County Solid Waste & Recycling Program provides technical assistance and free resources to businesses interested in food scraps collection programs, where available. Email or call 503-846-3605 to learn more about food scraps collection at your business.