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Starting in 2020, residents may be able to dump their food scraps straight into their yard debris.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Hillsboro residents may soon be able to dispose of their food scraps straight into their yard debris, under a plan currently under review by the Hillsboro City Council.The city of Hillsboro is looking into adding composting to its garbage services starting next year.

The Hillsboro City Council will consider a plan Tuesday, June 18, which would give residents the option to dispose of food scraps and other compost into their yard debris containers. For years, residents have had no place to dispose of items such as moldy bread and brown bananas, except into their garbage. Those food scraps are taken to the landfill.

But if councilors OK the proposal this week, residents would dispose of food scraps and other compose into their regular yard debris containers, which would be picked up and sent to Nature's Needs, a composting facility at 9570 N.W. 307th Ave., in North Plains.

Garbage in the city is handled by private companies through franchise agreements with the city. The service would be available through each of the city's waste haulers: Aloha Garbage Co., Cornelius Disposal Service Inc., Garbarino Disposal Service Inc., Hillsboro Garbage Disposal Inc., Pride Disposal Inc., and Washington County Drop Box Services Inc.

Unlike in other cities, yard debris and recycling are collected every other week. The added compost service would be available every other week to Hillsboro residents starting in 2020.

Food compost thrown into the landfill produces greenhouse gases, including methane, according to city spokesman Patrick Preston. Greenhouse gases are major contributors to climate change, but food scraps allowed to compost properly can be beneficial, Patrick said.

Several Washington County cities offer composting options for residents, including Forest Grove, Beaverton and Portland. Many Hillsboro businesses and schools compost food already, Preston said.

If approved, the cost of garbage service in the city would go up about 49 cents for most residents, an increase of about 2%.

The City Council will discuss the issue on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 E. Main St.



By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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