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Recycling in Hillsboro

Until recently, China has been the world’s largest importer of recycled paper and plastics. Beginning in 2018, China has indicated that it will no longer accept certain materials including plastic bags and plastic “clamshell” type containers. As a result, there is no longer a solid market for these types of plastics and many local recycling centers will no longer accept them.

At this time, there have been no changes to the mixed, curbside recycling collected by your local waste hauler or to the mixed recycling collected in the bins at your office.

Recycling at Home

Place these accepted items in your recycling roll cart: 
  • Paper & cardboard (junk mail, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, copier paper, greeting cards, paper egg cartons, paper tubes, cereal boxes, flattened, corrugated cardboard)
  • Milk jugs/cartons & drink boxes (rinsed clean and dried; do not include plastic straws)
  • Metal & spray cans (aluminum, tin, steel, clean scrap metal (including foil, bolts and metal hangers), empty aerosol cans - remove cap)
  • Rigid plastic bottles & containers (bottles & tubs 6 ounces or larger, milk containers, margarine, cottage cheese, yogurt tubs, rigid buckets (5 gallons or less - handles okay), rigid plastic plant pots 4 inches or larger)

Place these accepted items next to your  recycling roll cart in the red bin:

  • Glass Bottles & Jars (rinse clean and remove lids; no light bulbs, drinking glasses, or dishware)
  • Motor Oil (pour into a clear plastic container with a screw-on lid) 

Recycling Mistakes

The two most frequent (and costly) recycling mistakes are putting plastic bags and glass in with your mixed recyclables. Both of these create hazards for the sorting machines once they come into the recycling facility. Glass should always be placed into the red recycle bin provided by your waste hauler. Plastic grocery bags may still be recycled at some larger grocers.

Recycling Contaminants

It is very important to only place accepted materials in your workplace recycling bins and residential recycling roll carts. Keeping contaminants out of the recycling mix will help ensure that these materials will continue to be collected and recycled.

The following items should never be placed in your workplace recycling bins or residential recycling roll carts:

  • Glass
  • Plastic bags, bubble wrap, plastic film
  • Appliances 
  • Light bulbs
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Disposable drink cups (coffee and plastic beverage cups)
  • Motor oil, pesticide, herbicide or other hazardous material containers
  • Lids, caps & corks
  • Dishware & drinking glasses
  • Plastic drinking cups, toys, containers less than 6 ounces, hoses & hangers
  • Styrofoam block & packaging peanuts
  • Apparel, shoes, purses, belts, clothing
  • Electronics, computers & printers
  • Media CD, DVD, jewel cases, VHS tapes and cassettes
  • Hazardous materials including batteries and lawn chemicals
  • Take-out food containers or plastic deli/bakery containers
  • Packaging clear, molded plastic packaging

Additional Recycling Resources

NOTE: Far West Recycling is only accepting #1 and #2 plastic bottles - no other plastics are being accepted at this time. There is a $5 charge per car to use the recycling depot.

Recycling At Work

Business Recycling Requirements

In an effort to help businesses more effectively capture recyclable materials and divert them from landfill, the Hillsboro City Council passed the Business Recycling Requirements (BRR) ordinance in 2009. The BRR calls for businesses to meet three basic requirements:

  1. Recycle all paper, cardboard and containers (aluminum cans, plastic bottles and tubs, and glass bottles and jars).
  2. Provide internal recycling receptacles throughout the workplace.
  3. Post signs at collection areas that indicate which materials must be recycled.

The requirement is linked to the City business license. When a business signs the business license or renewal, they are agreeing to comply with the BRR.

Read the Business Recycling Requirements ordinance.

Technical Assistance for Businesses

Businesses seeking free technical assistance can contact the Washington County Green Business Leaders program at (503) 846-3605 or visit the website

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