Recycling has the potential to conserve natural resources and reduce pollution, but Oregon’s policy framework for recycling was created over three decades ago – and the world has changed drastically since then. In 2018, DEQ convened the Recycling Steering Committee to consider alternatives and ultimately recommend a path forward to modernize our recycling system. The RSC recommended a holistic shared responsibility framework in September 2020, which DEQ used to outline legislation for the 2021 Legislative Session.
Legislative Concept 578 is a significant overhaul of state policy that would modernize Oregon’s recycling system. This system-wide update will create programs that are more resilient to change, optimize environmental benefits and restore public trust. LC 578 will make recycling easier for the public to use, expand access to recycling services, upgrade the facilities that sort recyclables, and create environmental benefits while reducing social or environmental harms, such as litter. Importantly, it will also require producers and manufacturers to pay for many of these necessary improvements and help ensure recycling is successful in Oregon.
Note: LC 578 is a draft concept and some content may be subject to more than one interpretation. Given its length and complexity, there will be places where the language needs to be amended to be consistent with the Recycling Steering Committee’s consensus agreement.
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Recycling Steering Committee
The Recycling Steering Committee's consensus proposal was used to outline LC 578. See below for the committee's original recommendation, and more information about how this proposal was created.
RSC project background
From 2018 to 2020, DEQ and other partners responsible for Oregon’s recycling system collaborated through the Recycling Steering Committee to identify what a future recycling system should look like, conduct research to inform decisions, gather feedback from other stakeholders, and recommend changes to achieve that future system. The committee was a collaborative of representatives from local and state governments, businesses and other organizations that play a role in Oregon recycling. The Recycling Steering Committee’s goal was to ensure the recycling system optimizes benefits for the environment, is strong and adaptable to change, and restores and maintains public trust in the system.
Learn more about the Recycling Steering Committee
RSC Resources page to learn more about the process and read meeting materials and reports.