Materials Management

Oregon Solid Waste Characterization and Composition Study

2016/2017 Study

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is currently completing a new year-long study on the composition of disposed solid waste in Oregon. 

2009/2010 Results

In June 2009, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality began field work on a year-long statewide waste composition study, with assistance from Metro, Marion County, Lane County, the City of Eugene, and the City of Portland. Field work for the study was conducted by Sky Valley Associates, and involved collecting and sorting 999 samples of solid waste weighing on average more than 200 pounds each, collected at 58 landfills, transfer stations, and mixed solid waste processing facilities throughout an entire calendar year. These samples were sorted into 130 material categories, and all beverage containers in the samples were also counted both by beverage type and by container material type. In all, 113.9 tons of solid waste were sorted, and 23,148 beverage containers were counted throughout the entire State of Oregon.


The table below gives the percentage of each material in the disposed wastestream statewide:

Detailed information on the composition of waste from different parts of the state for different sources is given in Excel spreadsheets that are downloadable at the following links:

The presentation below was presented at the Association of Oregon Recyclers conference in June 2011. It presents an overview of trends in solid waste disposal and recovery from 1993 through 2010, and integrates results from waste composition studies, disposal tonnage reports and the annual material recovery survey. It includes pictures showing the way that DEQ waste composition studies are carried out, and methodology for analysis.


2005/06 Results 

The two Marion County documents are based on the extra sampling of waste in Marion County funded by the County:

2002 Results

The methodology for the 2009/2010 study and the 2005/2006 study was similar to the methodology outlined in Appendices B and C of the 2002 study report.

​2009/2010 Comminged Recycling Composition Study

In addition to looking at the composition of disposed solid waste in 2009/2010, DEQ also studied the composition of commingled recycling collected in Oregon, and also the composition of outgoing sorted material going to recycling markets: