Local Resources in Washington County, Oregon
- Reduce your food waste with the Eat Smart Waste Less challenge.
- Plan your trip on Trimet buses and Max.
- Reduce holiday gift giving waste.
- Learn ways to reduce energy usage at PGE. Have an energy audit, and learn about electric vehicles and more.
- Shake & Fold - Learn how to reduce paper towel use in public restrooms
- Recycling Advocates Bring Your Own Cup campaign is a good reminder to bring reusable cups to the coffee shops you visit. Some of them give a small discount. (Starbucks discounts 10 cents). Keep your cup clean and know how many ounces it holds. When you place your order, be sure to notify the server that you have your own cup.
- Many stores sell reusable bags for shopping. Don't forget about buying durable produce bags as well. You can buy these online if you can't find them locally. Some cities have banned plastic bags and some stores now charge extra if you don't bring your own bags.
- Buy food in bulk which reduces packaging waste. It can also be much cheaper! Don't forget to bring your own bags and containers if the store allows it. New Seasons is a good store for bringing your own containers and they will mark your container with the tare weight (empty weight) so it can be subtracted from the total weight upon checkout.
- Buy fresh produce at farmers markets: Aloha, Beaverton, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tigard, and Tigard Bull Mountain
- Purchase bulk spices, flour, pasta, coffee beans, tea, dried beans, etc at Fred Meyers, Winco, New Seasons, and other local grocery stores.
- Avoid pre-washed and pre-cut produce since it is usually stored in the type of plastic containers which are not accepted in home mixed recycling bins. (hinged clamshells, trays, and non-stretchy plastic bags). Washing and cutting produce yourself is also much more economical.
- Avoid fresh produce which is pre-bagged or individually wrapped and instead select produce sold "loose". This also lets you select only the amount you need. For example, you can purchase only 3 potatoes instead of 5 pounds which reduces food waste.
Good blogs and info
- Brookwood and Shute Park Library of Things (Hillsboro) - Check out items such as sewing machines, bake-ware, instruments, and games instead of buying your own. Also available in other locations, please check with your local library.
- Washington County Libraries - All area libraries checkout books, movies, and music and offer free events for children and adults. There is also free wifi, computers available for use, and many online learning and research resources for library card holders.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore (Beaverton and Forest Grove) - These are great sources of lumber, tools, and furnishings.
- GoodWill and Salvation Army Stores - There are numerous Washington County locations for donating and purchasing cooking supplies, clothing, furniture, and many other household goods including electronics and toys.
- Repair Fairs (Washington County and Portland Metro region) - Bring items to be repaired by volunteers at no charge. This includes small appliances, clothing, and small furniture. These are held roughly monthly in various locations around Washington County.
- RepairFinder - a website devoted to publicizing repair businesses in the Portland Metro region
- WashCo Bikes (Hillsboro)- Donate, repair, or purchase used bicycles. This is a non-profit.
- Recology Organics (formerly Nature's Needs) (North Plains) - Purchase compost made from yard trimmings, municipal organics, and land clearing materials.
- Rooster (Beaverton/Hillsboro) - Rooster is an online local sharing community where neighbors share free resources. No sales are allowed. Sign up with your email and receive postings from neighbors with offers and requests - from giving away or looking for unused goods to borrowing items, swapping services, or sharing rides. It started in Portland and is available only in select cities, including Beaverton and Hillsboro.
- Nextdoor - Nextdoor is a social networking community for neighborhoods. Members can post items for sale as well as free items. Events and other information can be shared, such as posts for lost pets, suspicious neighborhood activity, or community events.
- Buy Nothing (Banks/Buxton, Beaverton, Cornelius/Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood) - Buy Nothing is a closed Facebook group for people in your local area. There is no buying or selling, it is strictly a gift economy.
- Many online retailers sell used goods, such as Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, Ebay, and Craigslist. Refurbished electronics are even available online at OfficeDepot.com with 1 year warranties.
- Washington County Recyling Info - Includes info on 'What to recycle and where', which can be downloaded as an app on your smart phone or tablet. How to recycle at home offers clear instructions on what to recycle.
- Far West Recycling (Hillsboro) - Drop off items that don't get picked up at your residence, including appliances, cooking oil, and electronic waste such as cords and computers. Items taken: Metal items Plastics Paper Electronics Other Materials
- Agilyx (Tigard) - Drop off polystyrene (styrofoam) #6 recycling including meat trays, block foam, foam egg cartons, clamshells and coffee cups. Their drop boxes are available 24 hours. Plastic cold drink cups, see through clamshells, and coffee lids can be taken if bagged separately and if they have the #6 chasing arrows resin code. CD Jewel cases, brittle plastic utensils (they break when you bend them), and plastic hangers can also be taken even though they do not typically have #6 marked on them.
- Bottle Drop (Beaverton, Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Tigard) - Redeem your bottles and cans in dedicated facilities for this purpose. It pays to create an account in order to get 20% more on your redeemable containers at participating stores. You can optionally purchase green bags to put the containers in. This allows you to drop off a maximum of 2 bags per day without waiting in line to process them.
- Grocery Stores in the Portland metro area recycle plastic bags and film. This includes Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Winco, Target, and New Seasons. The drop bins are typically located just inside an entrance. Ask an employee if you don't see it. Search the Drop Off Directory for the nearest drop location, and the FAQ for allowable types of plastic film. In general, if it can be stretched with your fingers then it is OK to recycle.
- Mail stores - Drop off your packing peanuts and other packaging supplies for reuse. Not all stores will accept them, so call ahead. Postal Works in Tanasbourne is one location that reuses packaging supplies.
- Ecobinary (Beaverton) and Computer Drive Connection (Cornelius) accept computer and electronic related equipment and components for reuse and recycling. Check their web sites for details. Recycle Appliance in Beaverton also collects a wide array of electronic and appliances for recycling.
- Metro has 2 locations where hazardous waste can be dropped off. It also provides regular collection events in various locations during the warmer months. See their 2019 collection event schedule.
- Recycle or Not is a resource from Metro to provide recycling information.
- PacTech beverage handles have various dropoff locations in Portland, please reference their website.
- sharewaste.com - Helps you find a neighbor who can take your compost. Even if your city has curbside composting, it usually doesn't apply for condos and apartment dwellers.
Good blogs and info
- Portland Metro - Recycling and reuse information including reducing chemical exposure (Healthy Home), create a healthy yard and garden and lists Native Plants.
- Master Recycler Program - Attend the 8 week Master Recycler program and learn about current sustainability practices. Then volunteer to share your knowledge with the community and help promote a more sustainable way of living.
- Resourceful PDX - Ideas and tips for living a more resourceful life. Events and resources in the Portland area.
- The Story of Stuff - An online community dedicated to creating a healthier world.
- Lifestyle Ecotips from the Center for Earth Leadership in Portland, OR