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.

Free assistance

Washington County's Green Business program offers assistance and resources, at no charge, to businesses located within Washington County (excluding those in the City of Beaverton). Check out our Menu of Services to learn more. Then, request assistance by completing our request form or call us at 503-846-3605. 

Download recycling postersmixed recycling poster

Download and print recycling posters to help with recycling the basics and beyond! If you would like a customized poster, give us a call. All posters are bilingual English and Spanish, except where noted.

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

  1. Identify a workplace recycling champion.
  2. Verify your business has adequate recycling collection service.  Order collection service through your collection company.
  3. 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.
  4. Post signs that identify the acceptable materials for recycling at all centrally located recycling containers. Request recycling posters.
  5. 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.

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. Request assistance and a Green Business Advisor can help identify recycling options for these materials. You can also locate a recycling drop-off location using our What to Recycle and Where lookup tool. 

Check out the 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 helps businesses identify materials in their waste stream that can be used by others.