First proposed in November 2016, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently finalized an overhaul of the state's solid waste recycling program at Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 340-090. The new regulations require each city with a population of 4,000 or more to implement a recycling program as well as any county responsible for the area between the city limits and the urban growth boundary of that city or the area outside the city limits but within a metropolitan service district. The rules set forth recycling program elements that must be in a local government's recycling program, as well as 13 that are optional, with the requirement that a specified number of the optional elements be included in the program—that number being based on the size and location of the city.
One of the new recycling program options available to local governments requires commercial generators of solid waste that generate large amounts of recyclable materials to source-separate their recycling materials for reuse or recycling. A "large amount commercial generator" is defined as a commercial generator that has a service level of 4 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week at a single site. A local government that chooses this program element must require all commercial generators to participate but can except those for reasons such as zoning requirements, lack of sufficient space to provide additional recycling containers, or nongeneration of recyclable materials. Among other requirements, commercial solid waste generators would have to:
- Self-haul or arrange for collection service of its recyclables;
- Provide recycling containers for internal areas where recyclable materials may be collected, stored, or both; and
- Correctly label all interior and exterior containers and post signs where recyclable materials may be collected, stored, or both; that identify the materials that must be source-separated; and that provide recycling instructions.
For large amount commercial generators that don't comply, the local government may consider a penalty or fine structure that incorporates warning notices, civil injunctions, financial penalties, or criminal prosecutions.