Recycling Companies Must Recycle More

In August 2007, a new program was generated (though it began January 1st, 2009) by Oregon Metro to increase the Oregon’s recovery rates of recyclable material to 64% for 2009 in the Mulnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties. The Enhanced Dry Waste Recovery Program (EDWRP) was designed as a measuring tool for Metro to monitor and evaluate the amount of recyclable materials which are “overseen” and land filled. EDWRP’s primary focus is on Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) who process dry mixed waste. Focusing on metal, cardboard, and wood; the goal is to have no more than 15% of “tipped” (drop-boxes and self-tipping trucks) loads to have such recyclable materials in them once the load has been sorted and set up to landfill.

A testing procedure has been required through Metro for all dry MRFs to comply with. Each MRF must test their “trash” residuals three times per quarter year by removing (approximately) 300 pounds of the residuals heading to the landfill and hand sorting any piece of cardboard or wood which is greater than 12 inches in any direction, and any metal greater than eight inches in any direction. Simple tools can be used by MRF facilities to measure any overlooked recyclable waste; most facilities are using “homemade” wood squares which are 8” X 12” (see image), if a piece of metal or wood can get through then it is not recordable. However, if a pieces of wood, metal, or cardboard are too large, and can be recycled, it is saved and then weighed once the trash pile is finished being sorted. From a 300 pound sample pile, if more than 45 pounds of recyclable waste is recovered, then the MRF is not meeting the expected recycling percentage which Metro is requiring. In addition to the MRF’s self sampling (see sample form below), Metro officers will also perform scheduled and random sampling tests to be sure MRF operators are correctly and accurately being performed. For MRF who fail to comply with the EDWRP requirements, Metro can fine and write Notice of Violations to the company; and if the MRF continues to not comply; Metro has the authority to revoke the MRF’s license (though this would be the worst case scenario).

For more information about EDWRP please visit Metro’s web site at www.metro-region.org.
Submitted by Tim Bergam

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