Why aren't items like compostable service ware and food soiled paper allowed?

The facility that processes a significant portion of Eugene’s food waste into a high-quality compost product is no longer able to accept compostable service ware products and food soiled paper due to ongoing challenges presented by contamination from non-compostable products that end up in the food waste system, and emerging concerns about persistent perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) which are found on some types of grease resistant food service packaging and which can persist in the environment.

Including non-food items in our food waste collection system puts the entire food scraps program at risk.

It is necessary to exclude food soiled paper (like napkins and coffee filters) because their inclusion makes detecting and managing contamination challenging and costly--when non-food materials make their way into a truck load of food waste and then it is dumped at the processing location it is difficult to attempt to identify what these now food coated items mixed into pile of organic waste actually are (for example: paper towels and grease resistant paper look very similar at this point of the process).

For information on Oregon DEQ life cycle analysis of the environmental impacts of disposable and compostable service ware click HERE

Show All Answers

1. How does the program work?
2. What’s the cost?
3. Can my business or commercial property put food waste in our yard debris container?
4. Are compostable plastics or food soiled paper allowed in the program?
5. Why aren't items like compostable service ware and food soiled paper allowed?
6. Why compost?
7. What is the City’s role?
8. Who else is doing it?
9. How can I learn more about Love Food Not Waste?
10. Are the Love Food Not Waste resources available digitally?
11. Which businesses and organizations compost in Eugene?
12. If fats, oils, and grease are not allowed in food waste collection program, how can my business properly handle this material?
13. Are there soil tests done on the compost to ensure that it is safe for planting?
14. What happens with the finished compost?
15. Which haulers are involved in food waste diversion?