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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Composting Food Scraps

Woman with food scrap container; Apartment

Knowing When to Get Started

While composting isn’t required, it is increasingly popular with residents. Before kicking off a composting program at your multifamily property, determine if you’re set up for success or whether it’s best to hold off.

Evaluate your current system. Composting works best when multifamily residents already manage garbage and recycling the right way. Evaluate collection at your property to see if your set up needs to be fine-tuned. Contact us if you’d like support making improvements or need a recycling refresher to share with your residents.

Assess interest. Composting is most successful when at least half of your residents participate. You’re also more likely to see a measureable decrease in garbage. Send an email survey or post a tear-off sheet near the mail-boxes to assess interest at your property.

Gearing Up

Planning and engaging your residents will increase the likelihood that your composting program is a success. Once you’ve decided the time is right to implement a composting program at your multifamily property, we can help you get prepared.

Get in touch with your garbage and recycling company. Together, you can discuss everything you need to get started:

  • Number of containers needed
  • The best space for collecting food scraps
  • Food scrap collection days and frequency
  • Potential costs

Update your set up. Add signage to your collection area that includes food scraps, recycling, glass and garbage. Make sure all collection containers are clearly stickered. Free signs and stickers are available through us.

Contact your residents. Ensure residents know about the new composting program and any changes in service. Emails or posted updates are best. Order our composting guide and magnets to give to residents and help them compost the right way.

Define success. Create a few measures to evaluate the success of food scrap composting at your multifamily property, such as:

  • High resident participation
  • Lower unit turnover
  • Less garbage collected
  • Increased sense of “doing the right thing”

Get free support today

We can help you prevent mistakes with waste before they happen at your multifamily property. And save time and money in the process. We’re available by phone, email and in person. Get free resources today.