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Food Scraps

Food-generating businesses with on-site food preparation or service are required to separate food scraps from other waste. This regional effort keeps food out of landfills and turns it into renewable energy and nutrient-rich fertilizer for farms. 

Get Started


Set up compost service with your hauler.

There is no extra fee. Compost service is now included with regular garbage service. Contact your hauler to order a compost roll cart for food scraps. Find your hauler


Order free food scrap containers, signs and training.

Contact our Green Business staff at 503-618-2206 or at to place your order. The City will provide:

  • Free on-site consultation to help you start a food scraps collection program. 
  • Free staff training. 
  • Free indoor collection containers, posters and stickers. 

We can help connect you with food donation centers for excess, edible food. 


Start separating your food scraps for collection.

The business food scraps requirement is subject to penalty. Preparing in advance will help you save money and comply with new waste reduction rules. 

  • Timeline
  • Notification
  • Enforcement
  • Background
  • Resources

Start dates are based on businesses’ estimated volume of weekly food scraps. Businesses with the largest amounts of food waste are required to comply first. Businesses must start composting by these dates.

March 31, 2023

  • For businesses producing 1,000 pounds of food scraps or more per week.
  • 1,000 pounds is about four full 60-gallon compost roll carts.  

September 30, 2023

  • For businesses producing 500 pounds of food scraps or more per week.
  • 500 pounds is about two full 60-gallon compost roll carts. 

September 30, 2024

  • For businesses producing 250 pounds of food scraps or more per week.  
  • 250 pounds is about one full 60-gallon compost roll cart.

Customer food scraps

This does not apply to public or customer-facing areas of your business. Food prep waste and plate scraping handled by employees go in the provided compost bin. 

  • The City will notify all businesses meeting the food scrap requirement criteria.
  • City staff will conduct on-site visits to distribute information and provide training.
  • Qualifying businesses (with 1,000 pounds or more of food waste) must compost food. Penalties will be charged for noncompliance. 

Food-generating businesses are required to comply with the food scrap requirement. In 2024 businesses that do not comply will be subject to enforcement action.

  1. The City will provide written notice to the business. The notice will include the nature of the violation and the steps needed to avoid additional enforcement actions. The City will offer support or training.
  2. The business will have 14 days to take corrective action.  
  3. If a violation is not corrected within the time specified in the notice of noncompliance, the City may issue a citation or civil penalty. Gresham Revised Code (Section 7.50.500)


A 12-month waiver may be submitted for review. Waiver considerations include physical barriers, unreasonable capital expense, or violation of other government rules that impact a business’s ability to implement the policy.

Contact Gresham Green Business staff at 503-618-2518 or


Metro passed an ordinance in 2019 requiring food-generating businesses region-wide, including Gresham, to reduce food waste. Food is the largest form of waste at landfills and creates harmful gases that contribute to climate change.  

Benefits of composting food waste: 

  • Food businesses can save money by reducing waste that goes to landfill.
  • Food waste can be turned into renewable energy and nutrient-rich fertilizers for farms. 
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions at landfills.  

Metro resources 

Video resources

Find out how other businesses are implementing sustainable practices. 

Related programs and services 

  • Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG): Food service businesses use grease removal devices to separate FOG from their wastewater. Keeping FOG out of the sewer system helps avoid dangerous sewage spills and costly cleaning. 
  • The Small Business Center provides resources, guidance and step-by-step assistance through the permitting/licensing process. 
  • City of Gresham Business Services.

Food scrap signs and containers

The Gresham Green Business team is here to help. We offer free signs, containers and training.  Email for assistance.