Be Cart Smart. Include the Food!

Include the food! Every little bit counts – from food prep to scraping your plate, to leftovers and refrigerator cleaning. This program complements backyard composting: items that can’t go in your backyard compost like meat, bones, dairy, pasta, bread, can all go in the green roll cart.

Locally, food scraps account for almost 30,000 tons of unnecessary garbage every year. Food scraps can be put to better use as compost to improve the health of our soils and gardens.

Do my food scraps really make a difference?

  • Based on 2009 data (the most current at this time) Portland residents sent 419,000 tons of garbage to landfills (includes 111,500 tons from the residential sector and 307,500 tons from the commercial sector). This equates to 1,150 tons/day.
  • The average Portland household disposes of more than 1,200 pounds of garbage per year.
  • Seventy-five percent of what is in the garbage could be become productive by being recycled or composted. (According to the analysis in the Portland Recycles! Plan)
  • Approximately one ton of carbon dioxide emissions is prevented for each ton of food scraps diverted from landfill. A fully implemented residential program (assuming food scrap capture rate of 75 percent) could prevent the release of almost 22,000 tons of CO2 each year.

Questions? There is plenty of assistance out there and you have several options:

Online: Portland Composts
Hotline: 503-823-7202
Email: wasteinfo@portlandoregon.gov

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