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Improving Access to Recycling for Tenants

Oregon's strong recycling tradition was built on the idea that everyone should have the opportunity to recycle. However, many people who live in multifamily communities have inconsistent, inadequate access to convenient recycling collection services.

In 2017 and 2018, DEQ led an ongoing, collaborative planning and outreach effort with involvement from many stakeholders, including local governments, recycling collection companies, tenants, and others. This work will help communities implement the expanded Opportunity to Recycle Act that will explicitly include tenants in recycling programs. The new requirement goes into effect July 1, 2022. However, with the passage of the Recycling Modernization Act, this requirement has been delayed to July 1, 2026. DEQ will provide more information about implementation as it becomes available. 

The new requirement applies to cities with over 4,000 people, cities in the Metro Service District and associated urban growth boundaries.

In some cases, communities already extended recycling to people who live in multifamily properties as part of the optional state recycling program elements. Some communities also have various materials collection programs for businesses including recycling and wasted food collection.  

Background information

DEQ has undertaken the following efforts in support of this project:

  • Conducted research on the current state of multitenant recycling in Oregon. See research findings below.
  • Facilitated a stakeholder workgroup to develop a draft work plan for how DEQ and other parties can support recycling and reduce contamination at multitenant properties.
  • Collected feedback from stakeholders on the draft plan, through online comments and four public meetings across the state.
  • Analyzed the cost of implementing a range of actions from the draft plan.

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DEQ conducted statewide research in 2017 to understand how many multifamily and multi-commercial properties have recycling, what successful programs look like, and what the opportunities are to improve the system. Staff asked for feedback from various stakeholders on what works and doesn't work when providing recycling with shared recycling service.

​In 2018, DEQ circulated a draft work plan that outlined possible ways to support recycling at multitenant properties. Then, DEQ collected feedback from people and organizations that could be affected by it through an online comment period and four public meetings across the state. Watch the October 2018 webinar that summarizes the first draft work plan.

Program contact

Katie Romano, 503-875-7915