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Waste management


The use of compost offers many benefits. When incorporated into soil, it can improve soil tilth and fertility, as well as store carbon, helping reduce atmospheric carbon.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) supports and encourages composting but recognizes that, if not conducted in the proper manner, or if conducted at an improper location, composting can cause environmental problems, most notably to surface water and groundwater.

DEQ’s composting rules provide regulations tailored to potential environmental harm at each composting facility while ensuring that all operations protect public health and the environment. The rules also provide exemptions from permit requirements for very low-risk composting facilities. The rules and related documents are available on DEQ’s website.

Phone 503-229-6832, Portland
Toll-free in Oregon 800-452-4011, ext. 6832
Web deq.state.or.us/lq/sw/compost​

Structure of the rules

Who may be affected?

The rules apply to all existing and new composting facilities, including commercial, agricultural, institutional, and government composting facilities. The rules generally do not apply to small composting operations, including most home composting operations.

All composting operations that compost 100 or more tons of feedstock per year (or more than 20 tons per year of animal carcasses or meat waste) must submit a composting facility permit application in order for DEQ to conduct an environmental risk screening and determine the appropriate level of permit to issue. The regional DEQ contact can help you assemble the required screening information.

Confined animal feeding operations registered to Oregon CAFO general or individual CAFO permits must include their composting operation in their animal waste management plan (AWMP), as required by CAFO permit.

Screening compost operations

Through the screening process, DEQ will determine the level of environmental risk presented by each operation. Operations that are considered to pose a low environmental risk will receive a registration (a simple permit). Facilities posing a greater risk may be required to submit an operations plan to DEQ that shows how the facility will operate to achieve environmental and public health protection. After DEQ approves the operations plan, the facility will receive its composting permit.

DEQ will work with facilities that need to make environmental improvements to develop a reasonable implementation schedule.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Northwest region
(Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington counties)
Stephanie Rawson
2020 NW Fourth Ave. #400
Portland, OR 97201
Phone 503-229-5562
Email rawson.stephanie@deq.state.or.us

Western region
(Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Yamhill counties)
Bob Barrows
165 E. Seventh St, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone 541-687-7354
Email barrows.bob@deq.state.or.us

Eastern region
(Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Wheeler counties)
Larry Brown
475 Bellevue, Suite 110
Bend, OR 97701
Phone 541-633-2025
Email brown.larry@deq.state.or.us

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Program Area
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4700
Web oregon.gov/ODA/NRD

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Disposal of Solid Wastes

Both federal and state law prohibit disposal of solid waste, including garbage, demolition waste, land clearing debris, or sludge, except at a site holding a solid waste disposal permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).


A solid waste permit must be obtained before disposing of solid waste. The application for a permit must include completed application forms; a land use compatibility statement signed by the local government where the facility is to be located; evidence of need for the proposed disposal site; appropriate application fees; and appropriate design, operations, and monitoring plans. Solid waste must be disposed of at a permitted solid waste disposal site, unless the material fits the exemptions stated below. Solid waste includes septic tank and cesspool pumpings, manure, vegetable or animal solid and semisolid waste, and dead animals.


The following are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit:

  • Materials used for fertilizer (see the “Confined Animal Feeding Operation” section of this handbook regarding manure) or other productive purposes on land in agricultural operations and for the growing or harvesting of crops and the raising of animals
  • Household composting operations
  • Inert, noncombustible materials such as soil, rock, concrete, brick, building block, tile, or asphalt paving

Safety issues

Agricultural waste should be stored so as not to produce or sustain vectors (“hot spots” for environmental or health problems), transmit diseases to persons or animals, or create water or air pollution. Such waste must be stored in a manner that will reduce and minimize the objectionable odors, unsightliness, and other nuisance conditions.

Record keeping

The holder of a solid waste disposal permit must keep records of amounts and types of waste accepted, materials received for recycling, ground water monitoring results, and other information as specified in the permit.


Violation of statute, rule, or permit may be subject to civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day for each day of violation.

Disposal of other materials

If a farmer or rancher needs to dispose of inert, noncombustible materials (which may be done without a DEQ solid waste permit), he/she may need to obtain a permit from the Division of State Lands (503-378-3805) or the US Army Corps of Engineers (503-808-4376) if the materials are to be deposited in or near a wetland, or along or into any waterway.

Recovery and disposal of dead animals

Note: For specific information on requirements for disposing dead animals, refer to the section in this handbook titled, “Disposing of Dead Animals.”

For information about the recovery and disposal of dead animals, farmers and ranchers can view DEQ’s survey results on “Disposal and Recovery of Animal Mortality and Byproducts” found on their website. To receive a copy of this survey by mail, call the DEQ technical assistance staff closest to you.

Web deq.state.or.us/lq/sw/disposal/animalmortality.htm

Technical assis​tance

Solid waste staff at DEQ can provide technical assistance concerning solid waste disposal options and requirements. Contact the appropriate regional staff for answers to specific questions about solid waste disposal.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Web oregon.gov/DEQ/Pages/index.aspx​

Western Region Office, Salem
Phone 503-378-8240

NW Region Office
Portland 503-229-5263

Eastern Region Office, The Dalles
Phone 541-298-7255, ext. 221

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Federal hazardous materials regulations (HMR)

Who must comply?

Hazardous materials regulations apply to all farming operations, with some limited exceptions. If you operate a motor vehicle of any size to transport a commodity classified as a hazardous material, hazardous waste, or hazardous substance wholly within one state or in interstate commerce, you are subject to HMR.

HMRs have several parts:

  • Creation of shipping papers to describe what is being transported on board each vehicle
  • Information about specific package type that must be used to enclose the material
  • Specific words or symbols that must go on the shipping papers, packages, or vehicle(s)
  • Specialized training for the people involved in every aspect of transporting or handling the hazardous material; as well as, security planning and training

Technical assistance

US Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
530 Center St NE, Suite 440
Salem, OR 97301
Phone 503-399-5775
Fax 503-316-2580
Web fmcsa.dot.gov

Hazardous materials specialist
Phone 503-692-3768

Frequently asked questions
Web fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/Hazardous-Materials

Education and technical assistance
Web fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hazardous-materials/training-education​

Compliance, safety, and accountability
Web csa.fmcsa.dot.gov

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Underground storage tanks

Concern about contaminated groundwater and the threat of fire or explosion from spills or leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) led to passage of state and federal legislation (RCRA-Subtitle I;, ORS 466.706-466.835) which requires the installation of corrosion control, leak detection, and spill/overfill prevention equipment on USTs, as well as reporting and cleanup of contamination.


A general permit registration certificate from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Underground Storage Tank Program, is required to operate an underground storage tank holding any regulated substance. Fuel distributors are prohibited by law from depositing fuel in an unpermitted tank.


DEQ inspects regulated UST facilities every three years. In order to receive an annual general permit registration certificate (operating certificate), UST owners/operators must do the following:

  • Demonstrate financial responsibility. Financial responsibility is typically attained by purchasing environmental insurance for accidental spills or releases of petroleum products into the environment.
  • Pay annual UST fees of $135 per tank and any outstanding civil penalties.


Some USTs are exempt from federal and state laws and regulations. A general permit registration certificate to operate is not required to obtain fuel deliveries for the following:

  • Any tank under 110 gallons in capacity
  • Any tank holding motor fuel for farm or residential use under 1,100 gallons in capacity
  • Any tank holding fuel for heating purposes on-site
  • Any tank not used after January 1, 1974, as long as all product was removed at the time

Technical assist​ance

The DEQ UST Help line is available for technical assistance in the interpretation of rules. Fact sheets about specific compliance requirements are also available.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
UST Helpline
Phone 800-742-7878 or 503-229-5733
Web www.deq.state.or.us/lq/tanks/ust

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Waste tire usage

Who must comply?

With certain industrial exceptions, a waste tire storage site permit is required for storage of more than 100 waste tires. A waste tire carrier permit is required of all persons hauling waste tires for hire. A waste tire storage site beneficial use exemption is required for persons using 100 or more tires for a beneficial purpose (either above ground or underground). OAR Chapter 340, Division 64, regulates the storage, transportation, usage, and disposal of waste tires.


Contact the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to obtain an application for a waste tire permit or beneficial use exemption. For both, the completed application must include maps, management and contingency plans, a land use compatibility statement signed by the local government where the tire storage is to be located, and appropriate fees. DEQ will base its exemption determination on the legitimacy of the use and the potential risk to public health or the environment.

Exempt uses

Use of waste tires as a ballast to maintain covers on agricultural materials or at a construction site is an exempt use provided no environmental risk is created. Otherwise, if 100 or more tires are involved, a waste tire storage site permit will be required.


Holders of a beneficial use exemption must keep records of the number of tires used and how they are maintained. DEQ may conduct field inspections to verify compliance with permits. Permitted waste tire carriers are also required to submit to DEQ an annual report of the numbers of waste tires picked up and disposed of. Anyone handling more than 100 waste tires per year must keep a log of the tires and how they were disposed, even if a permit is not required. Records must be kept for a period of two years following disposal of tires.


Violation of statute, rule or permit is subject to civil penalty of up to $25,000 per occurrence.

Technical assistan​ce

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ Headquarters, Portland
Phone 503-229-5696
Web oregon.gov/DEQ​

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