Protecting Oregon's Environment
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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Land Quality 

Commercial Waste Reduction Clearinghouse

Setting Up A Program
Waste Reduction Strategies
Educate and Promote
Recognition and Funding
Success Stories
Commercial Laws and Regulations

Waste Reduction Strategies

Agricultural Businesses

Waste Prevention

  • Purchase items with recycled-content or refurbished parts. Pay attention to items used regularly like crates, cartons, bags, Gaylords and Gaylord liners, office and janitorial supplies. Many European and domestic plastics manufacturers are offering recycled-content crates. Ask vendors what they carry.
  • Use re-refined petroleum products. These products are superior for the environment: for example, it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to make a gallon of lube oil, but just 2.5 gallons of used oil to make the same gallon.
  • Investigate using lube and hydraulic oils made from rapeseed oil and 100% vegetable oil; these products are made in Sweden for the forest products industry. They are biodegradable, non-toxic and have higher ratings for temperature and viscosity than petroleum products.
  • Use food by-product as an animal feed (check with local authorities to see if permit is required). This is advantageous as it can be fed all year round, is fed in both liquid and solid form, and does not have to be altered from its original form.
  • Arrange for cooperative buying whenever possible.
  • Request recycled-content corrugated that delivers excellent wet strength performance. Often packaging products with higher recycled content aren't as white, however purchasing them helps to assure that there will be a market for the cardboard you recycle!
  • Evaluate your bottling operations for opportunities to reduce bottle waste.
  • Incorporate waste reduction into the planning process for special projects: Minimize discards from construction and demolition; plan to reuse materials; provide extra container capacity for recycling.
  • If you use catering services, you may be able to negotiate a discount for using your own dishes. Encourage caterers to serve "family-style" in reusable serving dishes. See also Waste Reduction Tips for Food Service.
  • Use the least amount of agricultural chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers as possible. For more information concerning the safe use, handling and disposal of pesticides, visit the University of Missouri's Household Hazardous Waste web site.
  • For basic office waste prevention tips see: General Tips


Common Recycled Content Products:

  • Bulb crates, flower cartons, check-out bags, consumer goods, gaylord totes, gaylord liners, janitorial supplies, lubrication and hydraulic oils, packaging and product packaging.

On-site Recycling:

  • Establish recycling system for materials you want to collect. Have collection areas, methods of transport and times to pick items up. Just as you have a bin for your office paper indoors, think about the logistics for collecting items like flower trays or hydraulic oils.
  • Paper, glass, plastic, metals, wood, fiber barrels, used automotive oil, oil filters and packaging can all be recycled or reused.


  • Sustainable Farming Practices: Visit the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas web site for sustainability information on all farming sectors, crops, berries, cows, hogs, pest management, university and K-12 information and much more.
  • Green Organics: There are numerous options an organization could look into, here are a few:
    • Haul vegetative matter to a local farmer to be incorporated into small-scale composting.
    • On-site composting often is feasible and less costly than alternatives depending on quantity and other logistics. Compost all organic waste streams and use in landscaping operations. Incorporate pomace and lees into vineyard solids, use as compost or have a compost company pick-up. Do not store during winter months.
  • Vineyards: Visit the Central Coast Vineyard Team's Sustainable Agriculture web site.
    • Sell left-over produce for livestock feed (often generate income rather than incur disposal fees)
  • Spent soil: Incorporate into composting operations
  • Animal Product Waste: If there is a large quantity (such as fish dust) it can be sold for animal feed, actually earning additional income while cutting disposal costs.

For more information visit these web sites:

  • Compost Education and Resources for Western Agriculture
  • Composting Equipment
  • Recyclers World central composting category
  • Sustainable Agriculture Network
  • US Composting Council
  • US EPA Composting
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For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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