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


Waste Prevention


  • Compost all organic waste streams and use in landscaping operations.
  • Incorporate waste reduction into the planning process for special projects: Minimize discards form construction and demolition; plan to reuse materials; provide extra container capacity for recycling.
  • Consider compost as a natural alternative to fertilizers and alternatives to using pesticides.
  • Read about Organic Gardening, composting, and native plants on the following web sites:
    • Organic Gardening in Central Oregon
    • Native Plant Society of Oregon
    • (See Northwest section)
  • Reuse plant containers.
  • Use plants that require less pruning and use native plants whenever possible.
  • Choose plants that fit into the space available to avoid trimming When updating or developing a landscape design; choose slow-growing species and evergreens to reduce the production of plant debris.
  • Using both winter and summer perennials can give year-round color without the cost and waste of replacing annual plants.
  • Design landscape based on anticipated use (turf vs. shrubbery).
  • If using turf, choose dwarf or other slow growing varieties that require less water.
  • See General Tips for basic office waste prevention steps.



  • Purchase plant containers that are recyclable.
  • Recycle excess plant containers, when possible.
  • Set up a recycling program for your employees and encourage them to participate.



  • Incorporate "Grasscycling" into your lawn care. Leaving grass clippings on a lawn can significantly reduce the waste volume while conserving soil nutrients and saving fertilizer costs. Use a mulching mower to cut grass into smaller pieces, thereby allowing the clippings to decompose faster. Regular mowers can be retrofit with mulching blades to further cut new equipment costs.
  • Composting leaves and branches along with grass trimmings and other organic matter will create a high-nutrient soil additive used for landscaping.
  • Use compost as a topsoil amendment or request that your landscaper use it.
  • High quality compost could be sold as mulch, potting soil, or a soil amendment to cover ground maintenance costs.
  • Chipping wood and other ground debris will provide mulch used for weed reduction and moisture conservation around interior plants or landscaped trees and shrubs.
  • Locate an off-site composting site to reduce the costs of on-site management or disposal of yard waste. Contact your hauler and local government to find out about pick-up and drop-off options for your yard waste.


Maintain a worm bin as an in-house group project. Worms will eat leftover organic vegetative waste from lunch. Small bins are relatively easy to care for and bring youthful fun into the office atmosphere.

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
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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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