Wasteshed programs for a two percent recovery rate credit
Reduce Per Capita Waste Generation by two percent
Oregon Administrative Rule 340-090-0045(1)(b)(A): Reduce the wasteshed annual per capita
waste generation by two percent each year.
What is "waste generation?"
Waste Generation is the total amount of municipal solid waste
disposed, PLUS the amount recovered for recycling. Municipal solid
waste includes residential and commercial, but not industrial waste.
Both the per capita recycling (or recovery) rate and the disposal
rate have increased each year in Oregon for the last five years.
Thus, even though recycling has been increasing, we are still
generating more waste per capita each year.
How Can You Reduce the Per Capita Waste Generation?
For your program to qualify for the recovery rate credit, you need
to be able to measure the 2 percent per capita reduction of
municipal solid waste generated in your wasteshed. DEQ can give you
a baseline of how much was generated in the previous year and how
much of it was disposed. The generation number for the following
year should show a 2 percent decrease.
Example: If the current annual per capita municipal solid waste
generation rate in your wasteshed is 1500 pounds, households will
have to reduce the amount of garbage they put out at the curb that
year by 30 pounds per household member.
The term "waste reduction" implies different strategies to reduce
the amount of waste generated. Waste reduction includes waste
prevention, reuse and backyard composting. In order to reduce waste
generation in your wasteshed, you must prevent waste in the first
place and aggressively pursue reuse.
The best way for a household or a business to find out what they
generate is to actually sort through the trash. What does each
family member, each department throw away?
To find out what the composition is of the municipal solid waste in
your wasteshed, see the DEQ waste composition study.
The next step is to decide what to target and with what strategy.
What materials take up the most space? Which ones are the heaviest?
Is anything reusable or repairable? Can the amount of disposable
products be reduced? What can be composted on site? Is grasscycling
A Program to Reduce Waste in Your Wasteshed
Here are some ideas to get the households and businesses informed,
interested and participating in the effort to reduce the amount of
waste they generate by 2 percent.
- Organize a kick-off;
- Distribute pledge cards on which participants promise to
decrease the amount of waste they generate by a certain percent this
year and indicate how they are going to achieve that.
Another idea to reduce waste wasteshed-wide is:
- Investigate the "Pay as You Throw" (PAYT) system, also called
variable can rates. Under a PAYT program the per-pound cost of
garbage disposal for households decreases when they use smaller
garbage containers. Pay-As-You-Throw pricing systems are considered
to be one of the best incentives for residents to reduce their
generation of waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an
excellent Pay-As-You-Throw web site at: http://www.epa.gov/payt.
Examples of Waste Prevention
- Grasscycling. When grass clippings are picked up in a yard
debris collection program, they become part of the generation rate.
However, if they are left on the lawn they can often reduce the
amount of waste a household or business generates by more than 2
percent. Grasscycling shreds grass clippings and returns them to the
soil as you mow and reduces the need for fertilizers. This method of
mowing saves time and work and can produce a more attractive and
- Reduce junk mail. To get off national mailing lists, write to
the address below and ask to be placed on a "suppress" file. Include
a list of your name and address in all the different ways it appears
on your junk mail. The Mail Preference Service places your name in
the suppress file for five years. The Direct Marketing Association
sends this list to its business subscribers four times a year. Be
patient; it takes three to six months before you notice a reduction
in your junk mail.
- Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
- Xeroscaping or naturescaping is the art of landscaping with
indigenous plants to create a landscape that needs less water and
pruning to keep the garden look good. That in turn leads to less
yard waste as well as less need for fertilizers etc. For more
information, contact your local OSU Extension Service or your local
"Soil and Water Conservation District". The Extension Service is
listed in the telephone book in the blue Government pages under
"Oregon State University Extension Service",
Daniels, Stevie. 1995. The Wild Lawn Handbook: Alternatives to
the Traditional Front Lawn. Macmillan, New York, NY.
Taylor’s Guide. 190. Water-Saving Gardening. Houghton Mifflin
Company, Boston, MA.