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The Green Business Leaders program helps businesses become more sustainable by providing technical assistance, free supplies such as recycling and composting bins, bags and signs, and staff training.
Washington County Green Business Leaders

Green business leaders

We're here to help your business become more sustainable. Through the Green Business Leaders service, your business will receive:

Lady with smile recycles at work.
  • Fresh ideas for engaging employees on waste prevention, recycling and composting.
  • Free supplies, such as recycling and composting bins, bags and signs.
  • Assistance setting up new or improved recycling and composting systems.
  • Staff training.
  • Access to a Green Business Advisor, an expert coach dedicated to helping you meet your environmental goals.

Need help going green? Request free assistance.

Our Green Business Advisors are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work making your business more sustainable. Simply complete this form and we'll pair you with a coach in no time.

Questions? Contact us at 503-846-3605 or [email protected].

Recycle at work

We make it easy to recycle at work! Recycling saves natural resources, prevents pollution and helps build a stronger economy. Businesses in Washington County are required to recycle because they play a critical role in reducing the amount of material we throw out.

Dropping can in recycle bin at work.
  • Check out our resources below to download and print your own recycling posters.
  • Contact us to request recycling training for employees, assistance setting up recycling and waste reduction systems, and free resources, like
    bins, posters, and labels (PDF 507.25 KB)
  • Start a green team using
    Green team guide! (PDF 251.58 KB)
  • Find out where to recycle items like electronics, batteries, light bulbs and bulky items by using our What to Recycle and Where? tool.
  • Learn more about the recycling requirements for your business.

Compost food waste

Food is greater than garbage! Simply tossing out food is a major missed opportunity. There are enormous environmental and economic benefits if we handle our food waste and leftovers a little differently.

Chef reducing food waste

Compost. By separating food scraps for composting instead of putting them in the garbage, your business saves a valuable resource from going to waste. Food scraps collected from Washington County restaurants, grocery stores and other food businesses are turned into renewable energy to power homes and businesses, and compost for local gardens and farms. 

Train staff to compost in three easy steps. Download the 1-2-3 poster.

How to compost (PDF 221.24 KB)

Compost and recycling training for commercial kitchens.This 3-minute video teaches kitchen staff:

  • What can and cannot go in recycling and compost bins.
  • How to safely lift heavy compost bags and containers.
  • The importance of keeping containers clean.

Business food scraps requirement. Starting in March 2023, some businesses in Washington County will be required to separate their food scraps from garbage. Learn more about how to set up a food scraps collection program at your business and check out the business food scraps requirement frequently asked questions (FAQs) page

Request assistance today for free tools and training to help you meet this requirement!

Reduce food waste

Stopping food waste before it begins has the greatest impact, because the majority of food's environmental footprint is created before it even reaches your kitchen.

Track & identify your food waste. When you see what gets tossed – from both back of house and front – you may see opportunities to make small changes to your planning, purchasing and production. These small changes can add up to big savings, on prep time as well as food costs. Learn more about food waste prevention: Food waste stops with me

Prevent. Stopping food waste before it begins has the greatest impact, because the majority of food's environmental footprint is created before it even reaches your kitchen. While you know your operations best, Washington County can help conduct a waste assessment to show you how much food ends up in the garbage. Read about how your peers prevent food waste.

Donate. Donating food in any amount helps your business waste less while supporting community members in need. Over 64,000 people in Washington County are food insecure, meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from. We can connect you with a food donation recipient and set up a simple food rescue program.

Request assistance today and you will be paired with a Green Business Advisor who can provide free tools and help you set up systems that are effective at reducing food waste.

Green Business award

You've done the work to make your business more sustainable. Now get the recognition you deserve by becoming a certified Green Business Leader!

Simply download and complete the application for either:

Food service sector (PDF 200.91 KB)
GBA Application OFFICE (PDF 185.27 KB)

We'll follow up with a site visit to verify the information you provided. Once certified, you'll receive a plaque of recognition and can start spreading the word! Looking for more sustainability inspiration? Download the list of additional actions your business can receive points for when applying.

Additional Actions (PDF 333.87 KB)

Check out the growing list of businesses that are committed to a healthy, sustainable Washington County.

Closeup of Green Business Award

Certification benefits

  • Use of the Green Business Leaders certification logo in your marketing materials
  • A Green Business Leaders window decal
  • Social media announcement by Solid Waste & Recycling
  • Listing in our online Green Business Directory
  • Listings in publications
  • Engraved plaque made in Oregon by Resource Revival
  • Announcement in the Green Business Leaders e-news bulletin

Green business resources


Recycling & Garbage

Food waste prevention

  • 86 Food Waste - Food waste reduction resources to cut waste and save money.
  • Further With Food - Online hub developed by U.S. EPA, USDA and 10 other partners.
  • Hotel Kitchen - Food waste prevention toolkit from the World Wildlife Fund and the American Hotel and Lodging Association
  • ConServe - The National Restaurant Association's sustainability training program
  • Food Waste Stops With Me - Regional food waste prevention campaign

Food donation

Food scraps collection

Waste prevention

Informational guides & tools

Green business certification | certificación de empresa verde

In search of something you're not finding here? Your Green Business Advisor can help you find what you're looking for! Complete the assistance request form.