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Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


How to get started

Best practices

  1. Place compost collection containers in high-use areas like food prep, dish scraping and coffee making.
  2. Replacing garbage cans with compost containers where possible. Keep some garbage cans nearby for twist ties, plastic bags and other non-food waste items.
  3. Label all composting containers. Order free posters and stickers.
  4. Train staff. Sustainability at Work offers employee training and presentations. Presentations educate and inform front line and back-of-house staff about how to compost.

How to get started

  1. Call your garbage and recycling company to request service (or call your property manager if they handle the building’s garbage).
    • Every garbage and recycling company is required to provide composting service if the customer requests it.
    • The City of Portland does not set garbage, recycling, or composting rates – businesses choose a garbage and recycling company to work with and negotiate the type and cost of service directly with the company.
    • Businesses often find it helpful to request bids for composting service from their own garbage and recycling company, as well as a few others doing business in Portland. All commercial haulers are listed online.
    • Since food that was going into garbage will be going into compost, you may be able to reduce your garbage service level.
  2. Set up you food prep area.
      • These green containers are available from your garbage and recycling company:
    Green composting containers
    • Colors matter: if you purchase your own containers, try to stick with green for compost, blue for recycling, and brown/grey/black for garbage.
    • Counter-top containers:
      • Buckets for prep areas can be helpful.
      • Purchase green pails, or repurpose buckets or pails you already have by labeling with a compost sticker.