Protecting Oregon's Environment
Oregon State Seal
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


Waste Prevention

  • Pay attention to expiration dates and keep rotating products for use in the bakery to avoid having to throw them away.
  • Use "ugly-but-edible" produce in the bakery or deli to produce salads and baked goods.
  • Package leftover deli-case hot food to be sold the next day as "take-out" in the cold case section.
  • Train employees to rotate, wash, and trim produce properly.
  • Use display tables that minimize handling and spoilage.
  • Offer "ugly but edible produce", leftover deli food, and packaged pull-dated food to a local food bank.
  • Offer spoiled produce and produce scraps to local farmers.
  • Reuse boxes in-house or donate to customers or a local food bank.
  • Consider using plastic pallets. Repair broken pallets on-site or use a repair service. Visit the Pallet-Mall or Recyclers World web sites for information on reusing pallets.
  • Improve handling practices that cause breakage. Ask suppliers to use sturdier pallets or take back broken ones.
  • Ask vendors to retrieve their boxes or sell to a reuse service.
  • Sell reusable beverage cups or mugs to customers; provide employees with permanent cups or mugs.
  • Ask your vendor to take back and refill cleaning product containers. For more information, see Green Seal's "Choose Green Report."
  • Carefully inventory sales of magazines and journals to avoid over purchasing each month. Work with suppliers to allow the donation of unusable publications to schools, libraries, or other charitable organizations.
  • See General Tips for basic office waste prevention techniques.


  • Use the first-in, first-out system to rotate chemical stocks, pay attention to expiration dates.
  • Buy drugs in container sizes that permit formulation of daily doses with the least quantity of excess product leftover.


Examine Your Operations

  • Assess your recycling opportunities in each portion of your operations: film processing, bakery, deli, grocery, pharmacy, and nursery.
  • Contact your city Recycling Coordinator or Waste Hauler to find out what materials can be collected.
  • Set up centrally located recycling collection areas for customers and employees.
  • Make sure all containers, including compactors, are clearly marked with signs.
  • Educate employees about standards to ensure that all meat waste is discarded in the rendering bin.
  • Choose a pallet repair service that accepts all wood waste and recycles what can't be reused.


For more information visit these web sites:

  • Composting Council of Canada
  • Composting News
  • Internet Recycling and Composting Resource Page
  • Recyclers World central composting category
  • US EPA composting
[print version]


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.

DEQ Web site privacy notice