Residential customers of Republic Services, Wilsonville’s recycling and waste franchise hauler, may now include food scraps with other residential organics in their yard debris bins. The new service does not affect monthly rates (except as noted below) or weekly pick-up schedules.
Why participate? According to Metro, food represents the largest portion of Portland-area garbage; about 20 percent of materials sent to landfills is food waste. As food decomposes in landfills, it creates methane, a powerful contributor to climate change.
Separating food scraps from garbage keeps food waste out of landfills, instead putting it to better use creating energy, compost or other products. Republic Services diverts food scraps from commercial and residential customers to a regional facility for composting.
The sewer system may also benefit, as separating scraps may keep them from entering the garbage disposal, where grease, fats and oils can be harmful.
“We know Wilsonville residents are committed to sustainability, and separating food scraps is a relatively simple way to make a great choice for the environment,” said Jason Jordan, General Manager of Republic Services. “Many customers in the Pacific Northwest have been eager to take this step, and we’re excited to partner with the City to bring this opportunity to Wilsonville.”
Is Your Home Equipped?
Some residents may be better equipped than others to participate in food scrapping. Those who possess yard debris bins may start collecting and separating food scraps immediately. For some resident groups, there may be barriers to participation.
- Charbonneau residents: If you don’t already have a yard debris cart, participation in food scrapping requires “opting-in” to receive one, which carries a small monthly fee.
- Villebois residents: If you don’t have a yard debris cart, you may receive one at no charge from Republic Services.
- Multi-family residences: If you live in an apartment or condominium, talk to your property manager/HOA about whether or not participation is feasible.
Optimally, food scrapping requires a one- or two-gallon kitchen compost pail to collect scraps. By summer, the City hopes to secure funding to purchase a limited number of kitchen pails for residents interested in participating. For those eager to start now, compost pails may be purchased from local retailers.
Kitchen Pails: To avoid the accumulation of odors, pails should be emptied into yard debris bins frequently, and periodically hand-washed and sprinkled with baking soda. Pails may be lined with newspaper or Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI) certified compostable bags. Plastic bags are not permitted, as they will contaminate the compost.
Yard Debris Bins: You may line your bin with newspaper or paper bags. Set it out weekly, even when it isn’t full. Periodically rinse your cart with soap and water to help eliminate lingering odors. When you do, pour the dirty water in grass or gravel, and not the storm drain. By request, Republic Services can clean the bin for a small fee.
Additional New Residential Services
Food scrap composting is one of three new residential services approved by the City Council in December 2019. Also rolling out this spring:
- Polystyrene Foam Collection: Republic Services has set up a collection station at their Wilsonville transfer station to collect clean blocks of polystyrene #6 packaging materials only. Peanuts and other packaging materials are not accepted. The facility is open weekdays, 7:30 am-5 pm.
- Bulky Waste Pick-up for ADA/Senior Citizens: Wilsonville residents over the age of 55 or who are experiencing disability may contact Republic Services to request home pick-up of large/bulky waste items. There is no charge for this limited-duration program. Call 503-682-3900 to learn more or request a pickup.
Source: City of Wilsonville Press Release. 2.26.20