How to Recycle at Work
Businesses generate nearly two-thirds of the Metro region's waste and play a critical role in reducing the amount of materials sent to landfills each day.
Business recycling requirements and service
Businesses in Washington County, and in most cities, are required to recycle paper, plastic bottles, metal cans, and glass bottles and jars. Commercial collection service typically includes recycling service as part of the monthly garbage collection fee paid.**
**Businesses located in Forest Grove pay separately for recycling collection services.
Getting started — five steps to a successful recycling program
- Identify a workplace recycling champion.
- Verify your business has adequate recycling collection service. Order collection service through your collection company.
- Make recycling as convenient as garbage. Use the buddy system for recycling and garbage containers. Always pair one with the other. Request indoor recycling boxes at no charge.
- Post signs that identify the acceptable materials for recycling at all centrally located recycling containers. Request recycling posters.
- Provide training to all staff. Choose the tools and resources Recycle at Work offers that work best for your business.
Recycling the basics
- Recyclables are collected together in a single container — no need to separate each type of material or place in separate containers, with the exception of glass.
- Put cardboard, papers, metal and plastic bottles, buckets and tubs in your mixed recycling container, typically a cart or a dumpster.
- Always keep glass bottles and jars (all colors) separate from the mixed recyclables. Collect glass in a container designated for glass only.
- For more details, download a how-to Recycling Guide.
Beyond the basics — electronics, fluorescents, pallets, batteries, etc…
Your workplace may be able to recycle items not accepted in the basic recycling program including, but not limited to, electronics, fluorescent light bulbs, wood pallets, rigid plastics that are not accepted in the mixed recycling program, plastic film/bags, and batteries. Contact a county recycling specialist to help identify recycling options for these materials or locate a recycling drop-off location using Metro's Find a Recycler webpage.
Check out the Recycle at Work Business Bulletin archive to learn more about the steps local businesses have taken to reduce waste beyond recycling paper, metal and plastic containers.
Discover the potential for materials reuse through ResourceFull Use. The ResourceFull Use network allows business to identify materials in their waste stream that can be used a feedstock for another business.