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Garbage and Recycling at Work

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.
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Attention unincorporated Washington County community members and businesses

Garbage and recycling collection rate changes approved by the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, will take effect on Thursday, August 1, 2024. Your collection company will send you a written notice outlining the rate changes. For any questions, please contact us at 503.846.3605 or email [email protected].

Washington County Green Business Leaders

Green business leaders

We're here to help your business become more sustainable. Through the Green Business Leaders program, 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 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. 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

Start a green team using our guide.

Green team guide! (PDF 251.58 KB)

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. As of March 2023, some businesses in Washington County are 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. Find tracking and measurement tools at: 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!

Read more about the Green Business Leaders program:

Green Business Leaders (PDF 263.13 KB)

Download and complete the application for either:

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)

We'll follow up with a site visit to verify the information you provided on your application. Once certified, you'll receive a plaque of recognition and can start spreading the word!

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
  • Social media announcement by Solid Waste & Recycling
  • Listing in our online Green Business Directory
  • Engraved plaque made in Oregon by Resource Revival
  • Announcement in the Green Business Leaders e-news bulletin
  • 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.

Green business resources


Recycling & Garbage

Business Recycling Guide (8.5 x 11)

Food waste prevention

Food donation

Food scraps collection

Food Only Poster  (PDF 1.26 MB)

Waste prevention

Informational guides & tools

Green team guide (PDF 255.67 KB)
Home office guide (PDF 199.53 KB)

Green business certification | certificación de empresa verde

Additional Practices (PDF 385.86 KB)