Global demand for materials—from rare earth metals to agricultural products—is increasing rapidly and demand for these materials has led to significant environmental impacts. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is leading efforts to reduce waste and one of those efforts includes providing resources and tools for local governments, businesses and residents.
Amendments in 2015 to Oregon’s Opportunity to Recycle Act added provisions requiring certain local government jurisdictions to implement waste prevention and reuse programs. These new requirements go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, under administrative rules adopted to implement these new statutory requirements. Among the options local jurisdictions may choose to implement are waste prevention campaigns targeting either residential or commercial generators that focus on toxic or energy intensive materials.
DEQ committed to creating residential and commercial waste prevention campaigns to assist local governments in complying with the rules. The campaigns, Make Every Thread Count and Wasted Food Wasted Money were produced in October 2017, and toolkits for both campaigns will be available online.