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City 101: Solid Waste and Recycling Services

Garbage, recycling and yard waste services are important to community livability, and in North Plains they are provided by Garbarino Disposal & Recycling. How does this service work, what services are available, and where do the collected materials go? Read on to learn more.

How does this service work?

Garbarino’s family business is based in and has operated in North Plains since 1975. It holds the franchise, approved by City Council on a 7-year cycle, to provide these services to our community. They currently serve about 1,200 North Plains customers, in addition to the around 6,000 they also serve in parts of Beaverton, Hillsboro, and unincorporated Washington County.

The North Plains franchise agreement includes providing a portion of their gross revenue to the City, which in turn goes to help fund a portion of City operations. Every year, Garbarino is required to submit a report to the City Council, as well as other government partners, including yearly expenses, revenues, tonnages of collection, and where the collected materials go. They also undergo a public process to set and, when necessary, increase rates. This rate is set through a process approved by the Washington County Commission.

Where does the refuse go?

Garbage collected is taken to the Waste Management Forest Grove transfer station and from there is typically taken to a large landfill near The Dalles, Oregon.

Yard debris is taken to Recology Organics in North Plains, which processes organics and turns them into retail products like compost, bark and soil blends.

Commingled recycling is taken to Far West Fibers in Hillsboro. There, it undergoes a sorting process using belts, screens, magnets and human labor to sort the material and bale it for transport to various places for recycling/reuse.
NOTE: plastic bags cannot be recycled with your commingled recycling as they get caught and cause sorting system blockages. Visit www.how2recycle.org for local locations that accept stretchy plastics including bags, wraps, and films.

Did you know about these other special services?

Garbarino offers a variety of other services for free or a small fee, including:

  • Dropboxes - 6-yard dropboxes for cleanup jobs.
  • Battery collection - all types of batteries including alkaline, watch, and lithium (please tape over the ports). Put them in a quart sealable bag and place on top of your glass recycling.
  • Bulky item pickup upon request - including removal of couches, water heaters, etc.
  • Commercial services - including food scrap and organics from restaurants that go to the transfer station and are ground into a smoothie mixture that is used as fertilizer.
What new options are being considered?

Garbarino is working with Washington County on an expanded recycling program for an extra fee they hope will be available in summer 2022 to include plastic film, light bulbs, and other items. Watch the Washington County Solid Waste and Recycling Services website for updates.
Garbarino and the City are in discussions about creating a program for food scrap composting to be mixed in with yard debris, which is already happening in many Metro region communities.

Interesting fact: Garbarino’s residential collection trucks are divided into two separate bodies - one for garbage and one for yard debris. They are emptied each day so the trucks you see parked/stored at their site are empty.

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