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Composting for Restaurants


As of November 1, 2014, waxed cardboard will no longer be allowed as part of the commercial compost collection. As of March 1, 2015, only food scraps will be accepted.

These non-food items will NO LONGER be accepted:

 Materials no longer accepted in compost

**Portland’s residential composting program has not changed.

Bags - Transparent and semi-transparent BPI certified compostable bags will be the only non-food item allowed.

Find FAQs and more information about these changes.

Helpful tips regarding containers and bags

  • Heavy lifting
    • Containers can get very heavy when full or even partially full.
    • Staff may need to work in pairs when dumping full containers.
    • Consider a policy to only fill containers half-full before dumping.
  • Cleaning
    • Containers should be cleaned regularly to prevent odors and fruit flies.
    • For sanitation reasons, containers must be cleaned out at the dump sink, not the food prep sinks.
    • Rinse water must go into the sanitary sewer and not storm drains.
  • Compostable bags (optional)
    • Use of approved compostable bags is optional.
    • Advantages:
      • Minimizes washing required for containers and can reduce odor or fruit fly problems.
      • Keeps your exterior collection containers cleaner; especially on hot summer days.
      • Makes emptying containers from your food-prep area easier (though these bags are generally not as strong as conventional plastic bags).
    • Disadvantages:
      • Cost of bags.
      • Potentially limited shelf-life; bags can degrade if not used within certain time period.
    • Where to buy bags