Recycling & Waste Reduction

Solid Waste Assessment Report

As part of PCC's contract with Community Environmental Services (CES), the college requested in May 2013 that they conduct a landfill-bound waste assessment for our four largest locations: Sylvania, Cascade, Southeast Center, and Rock Creek. (CES is a research and service unit within the Center for Urban Studies at Portland State University.) Download the PCC Solid Waste Assessment Report

Breakdown of Waste Stream

Waste Stream Chart
11%
Commingled recyclables (67.13 lbs)
  • cardboard: 1.7%
  • mixed paper: 5.9%
  • aluminum/metals: 0.9%
  • plastic bottles/tubs: 2.8%
24%
Compostable food and fibers (148.03 lbs)
9%
Other recoverable materials (51.94 lbs)
  • glass bottles and jars: 2.0%
  • plastic film: 1.4%
  • rigid plastics: 4.6%
  • styrofoam: 0.1%
  • asceptics: 0.3%
  • milk cartons: 0.3%
56%
Non-recoverables (334.85 lbs)
  • true waste: 41.1%
  • liquid: 9.0%
  • coffee cups: 5.5%

The objectives of the four PCC waste assessments were as follows:

  1. Determine the composition of the landfill-bound waste stream by conducting a waste sort on a minimum of 100 pounds of the landfill-bound material for each campus. This sample provides a snapshot of the waste composition and daily waste-generation activities of the campuses. Each waste sort includes hand sorting the waste into material categories, weighing the sorted materials, recording the data, and making quantitative and qualitative observations.
  2. Provide a comprehensive combined overview of the four campuses in order to provide a larger context for PCC’s waste minimization opportunities and targeted education outreach.
  3. Develop recommendations regarding material waste that could be diverted or reduced based on the collective findings from the sorts

Recycling Program

PCC has over 600 classroom recycling bins, 42 outdoor recycling collection stations, 30 indoor recycling collection stations, and some 2,500 signs installed.

Outdoor Public Space Recycling
outdoor recycling setup

Recycling signs, Trash sign

  1. Trash/Landfill (soda beverage cups, to-go containers, coffee cups, plastic film, foods, liquids, lids, caps, napkins, paper plates)
  2. Glass (glass bottles and glass jars)
  3. Plastic Bottles, and Cans (aluminum and tin cans, plastic bottles and tubs)
  4. Mixed Paper & Cardboard (cardboard, newspaper, office paper)
Indoor Public Space Recycling
indoor, shared space recycling setup

Recycling signs, Trash sign

  1. Trash/Landfill (soda beverage cups, to-go containers, coffee cups, plastic film, foods, liquids, lids, caps, napkins, paper plates)
  2. Glass (glass bottles and glass jars)
  3. Plastic Bottles, and Cans (aluminum and tin cans, plastic bottles and tubs)
  4. Mixed Paper & Cardboard (cardboard, newspaper, office paper)
Classroom Recycling
classroom recycling setup

Recycling sign, Trash sign

  • Accepted: Aluminum and tin cans, plastic bottles and tubs, cardboard, newspaper, office paper.
  • Classroom recycling is comingled: all recyclables go in one container.
  • Not accepted (trash): coffee cups, foods or liquids, lids and caps, napkins and paper plates, and "NO GLASS IN CLASS!"

Diverting Food Waste

Sylvania Kitchen implementing a new pre-consumer food waste diversion pilot. Although this is a behind-the-scenes process, commercial composting is an extremely important part of reducing waste. 5 gallon buckets are being filled (at upwards of 10 per day so far), and food waste is now being diverted from the landfill on a large scale at the Sylvania Campus. Three 60 gallon rollcarts have been filled to the brim since the beginning of the pilot. It's estimated that this is around 600lbs of compostable food and fiber in one week. Dining Services is committed to sustainability!

Sustainable Purchasing

PCC's District Recycling Program is working toward evolving into a comprehensive District Recycling and Waste Reduction Program. Part of our approach will involve helping to promote and educate PCC stakeholders on approaches to sustainable purchasing. This includes tracking supply chain emissions as part of PCC's on-going GHG inventory effort, as well as tracking GHG emissions associated with PCC's solid waste being landfilled. To assist in these on-going program efforts, the PCC Board recently adopted the PCC Sustainable Purchasing Policy on July 14, 2011.

Composting at Rock Creek

Large metal cyclinder with red lettering reading The Rocket

Rock Creek has been composting for years. All of their post-consumer waste is sorted between compostable and non-compostable. The insinkerator, a grinding piece of equipment, chips service ware and food waste to the same size components. The returned product is macerated and de-watered and fed into the Rocket Composter. The Rocket Composter is the fourth of its kind in the United States, and the first to be used for this specific purpose.

Students standing around the worm bin

Rock Creek also composts using a Worm Bin. Worm compost is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by red wiggler worms. Worm compost is a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner. The Rock Creek worms are fed by coffee grounds and food stuffs from the cafeteria. The end product organic fertilizer is used in the Organic Garden.

View "The Rock Creek Loop" Video

Use a Mug and Save

Sylvania Mug Board

Bring a mug to PCC coffee & soda stands and get more beverage at a 5 cent discount. Rock Creek's waste analysis in January 2006 found that disposable beverage cups took up 12% of dumpster space. You can help! If everyone brought a reusable mug to campus for one week, we would keep over 50,000 cups out of the trash.

Need a mug? Look for mug boards near your campus cafeteria! On these boards, you will find clean reusable mugs hanging on hooks for your use. Grab a mug, use the mug and return it to be washed by food services.

More information


pure garcinia cambogia

seo services