Leaner, greener and smarter about waste management.

"You cannot measure the success of a recycling program by chasing a number... everyone is saying 50% is the goal or 75% is better … the number does not truly represent how well a program is working. Recycling has to begin at the source, the individual who makes a choice to not buy, to use a re-usable shopping bag or to work digitally instead of using paper... how do you track that? Those choices show up in the carbon footprint, but there is no way to measure what hasn’t been put into the waste stream. The numbers could actually go down in terms of recycling volume … because individuals have been educated and have made choices that eliminated the need to dispose or recycle."
-Tony Catalan, Sr.

How we're going "beyond green"

A key element in the success of our efforts to promote sustainability with our clients is our drivers. These outstanding personnel are trained to carefully evaluate loads and go the extra mile by being constantly aware of the content of pickups.

For example, at Portland State University a driver noticed that a trash container contained large amounts of lumber. Instead of dumping it, we reported the content to PSU and provided a wood recycling box for the material.

Bio-diesel trucks, equipment ahead of requirements

  • City clean air timeline is to retrofit by 2014 and replace by 2018
  • We're in process now, ahead of the requirements
  • We're also exploring compressed natural gas (CNG), a fuel with practically no emissions, and expect to be converted by 2014

We help contractors meet LEED requirements

  • Full reporting of everything dumped and where it has gone
  • What has been recycled, re-used, reclaimed

We'll help you be greener too

We keep detailed records of all waste and recyclables collected. We can work with you to conduct a waste content audit of your organization for the purpose of identifying items in the waste stream that can be recycled or diverted. We'll then periodically audit waste to identify ways to further reduce waste generation. 

What we're doing to be green

We are committed to sustainability and to reducing our carbon footprint in all areas of our business, and we know the first steps are the ones we take at "home," in our office and in the way we do business. In our operation:

  • We purchase wind-generated power through Portland General Electric. This results in 60,000 kWh of renewable electricity each year.
  • We have outfitted our office building with energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Every truck in the fleet is using the B20 bio diesel blend for fuel, and we are considering acquisition of alternative energy efficient vehicles.
  • Ongoing preventive maintenance on our fleet ensures that tire pressures are correct and that clean fuel and air filters are in all vehicles to keep us running efficiently.
  • Our new trucks meet or exceed the latest emissions standards and are equipped with automatic shut off if a truck idles for more than ten minutes.
  • We are applying for a DEQ program, using federal reinvestment dollars, that will retrofit our current fleet to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
  • Current fleet purchasing policies are based on acquiring vehicles that exceed the latest emission standards and requirements.
  • Our route planning strategies ensure Trashco routes maximize the amount of waste handled per mile thus reducing fuel usage and carbon emissions

In working with our customers:

  • We maximize container utilization by placing larger containers where needed, and we have introduced the two-sort recycling system. This reduces the number of containers required, which reduces lift fees, as well as increases pickup efficiency and reduces overall energy and fuel usage.
  • We train our drivers to identify and implement methods to reduce fuel usage, from turning off trucks rather than idling more than five minutes, to identifying areas where pickup frequency can be reduced or route drive time reduced.
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