Materials Management

China intends to prohibit the import of certain mixed paper and plastic grades beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. Additionally, China has announced a new and exceedingly stringent recyclable contamination standard of 0.3 percent. China is the main market for Oregon’s recyclable mixed paper and plastic. This has created a condition where the primary market for the bulk of Oregon’s recyclable materials is severely constrained and in jeopardy of disappearing.
In an effort to meet the tightened contamination standards, recycling processing facilities have slowed their sorting lines. This has resulted in a lower throughput of materials. The flow of materials from Oregonians sent for recycling has not slowed to match this constraint. Without an outlet for the collected materials, sorting and storage capacity have become constrained. In some cases, processing and storage capacity have been exceeded. In other cases recycling costs have exceeded disposal costs.

DEQ, working closely with representatives from the recycling industry and local governments, has initiated a short-term stopgap solution to help alleviate the backup of material throughout the collection and processing system.

If you are unable to find a processor or end market for your recyclable material or costs to collect, process, and transport are exceedingly high, please request DEQ concurrence on alternative material management options.


Long-term planning

DEQ is working closely with stakeholders to define a process to revamp and strengthen Oregon’s recycling system. This will include forming a DEQ-led steering committee to identify gaps and opportunities to improve the system. A draft long-term planning process and scope  have been identified as part of the process.
Upcoming 2018 meetings - every first Thursday
  • June 7: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • July 5: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Aug. 2: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Use meeting number and access code below:
Call-in number: 888-204-5984
Access code: 76927218​ 

Previous meetings

May 10, 2018
April 27, 2018 - Communications Workgroup
April 26, 2018​
April 12, 2018
March 29, 2018
March 15, 2018 
Feb. 15, 2018

Upcoming 2018 meetings

Thursday, May 10: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, June 1: time to be determined


Resources for collectors and processors



If you are experiencing an urgent situation requiring immediate disposal of material, please call your regional technical assistance contact.
Northwest Region
Daniel Hough, 503-229-5478
Western Region (Eugene)
Craig Filip, 541-686-7868
Western Region (Salem)
Cathie Rhoades, 503-378-5089
Eastern Region
Jamie Jones, 541-298-7255 ext. 225