Reduce Waste - Anticipate a way to prevent waste before it happens.



Closing the loop on compostable packaging


There are several businesses in the Hood River area that are using compostable packaging (cups, lids, eating utensils, boxes, etc). These items are only compostable under certain conditions which are not the same as a regular composting bin. The challenge is to find a way to collect the packaging after it has left the shop/restaurant, bring it to someone who is able to compost it (there is a local group that has already begun testing with this). This would close the loop on this form of packaging and is the only real way that using compostable packaging makes sense (besides the fact that the plastics and linings are made from vegetables and are not petroleum based).
Once the loop is closed, more businesses will take interest and will want to be a part of this movement. We could be one of the first areas in the country to set up a system for this.

Challenge Guidelines

Not quite sure about this part

What this challenge offers to the winner

This could be a blueprint for other towns and cities to follow suit. Whoever solves this challenge could be the person to spread the system around the country. Also, unlimited coffee/espresso consumption at Doppio for the duration of the project!

Which state this challenge is located in


Current Solutions

Comments (4)

Richard Halpern: Cool EcoChallenge! Thanks Michael

Staci Schwarz: Why not offer a customer return rebate like the 5 cent bag refund at a grocery store. If they bring in the cup/plate etc. and put in the special collection bin they get the rebate. Then the composting specialist can pick up the bins. You won't capture them all that way, but it would be a start.

James Jedibudiah: I worked very closely on creating a composting program at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland and we had to tackle the same obstacle. We were able to find two commercial composting facilities that would accept this waste stream, and two waste haulers that would serve as collectors for transporting it. I'm not sure if Hood River has the same hauling services, but there are programs already in place that you might be able to work through. I'd be willing to elaborate if you want to contact me.

If you'd like to post an EcoChallenge or a comment, become a member today. It's free!

Search EcoCategories by clicking on icons:

  • Buy_green_68x68_blue Buy Green - Seek out organic foods or products made with non-toxic ingredients.
  • Carbon_offsets_68x68_blue Carbon Offsets - Any action to reduce (or offset) greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Green_shipping_68x68_blue Green Shipping - Use reusable/recycled packaging. Use a green shipping company or method.
  • Light_less_68x68_blue Light Less - Choose energy efficient light bulbs and machinery. Redesign to let in natural light to consume less electricity.
  • Recycle_68x68_blue Recycle - Convert used materials into new products. Figure out what you can recycle and where.
  • Reduce_waste_68x68_blue Reduce Waste - Anticipate a way to prevent waste before it happens.
  • Reuse_68x68_blue Reuse - Lengthen the life of a product or material before it is recycled or disposed.
  • Think_local_68x68_blue Think Local - Buy locally and support prosperity in your community.

What are the Eco Icons? For any EcoChallenge, choose one or more icons that best reflects the category of sustainability that is helped by an EcoSolution. If an EcoSolution results in a new way to recycle something, choose the Recycle Icon; if an EcoSolution results in less waste production, choose the Reduce Waste Icon. A new water conservation method may represent multiple icons. You decide! If your EcoChallenge does not fall under any of the Icons, please let us know so we can create a new one! Scroll over each Eco Icon for a definition.