Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Clark County makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this web site. However, due to the possibility of transmission errors, HTML browser capabilities, changes made since the last update to the site, etc., neither Clark County, nor any agency, officer, or employee of Clark County warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

In offering information on the Web, Clark County seeks to balance our requirement for public access with the privacy needs of individual citizens. Information that appears on the Clark County Web site is part of the public record. By law, it is available for public access, whether by telephone request, visiting county offices, or through other means.

This site contains links to other websites. Clark County is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content, accuracy or opinions expressed on such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked by us for accuracy or completeness. Inclusion of any linked website on our site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us.

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Contact Details

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Virtual Learning

We now have our workshops available on YouTube so you can watch and learn at your convenience!

Workshop FAQs

Lasagna Composting

Learn how to layer organic materials, such as food scraps and yard debris, to create a raised garden bed. This method requires no tilling or turning and allows you to build right on top of any kind of soil or grass.
More info: Workshop FAQs

Backyard Composting

Learn the art and science of backyard composting. Get all the tips and tricks on how to turn your food scraps and yard debris into rich garden soil.

More info: Workshop FAQs

Worm Bin Composting

Learn how to compost using red worms to turn food scraps into all natural fertilizer for your garden. This is a great alternative to backyard composting, especially if you are tight on space.
More info: Workshop FAQs

Green Cleaning

Learn how to properly clean, sanitize, and disinfect using green cleaners. You'll also learn how to make 3 versatile household green cleaners.

More info: Workshop FAQs

Recycling Done Right

Learn how to recycle right! You'll get an in-depth explanation of what can and can't go into your recycling cart or dumpster and how the recycling process works.
More info: Workshop FAQs

Prevent Food Waste in the First Place

Learn tools to combat food waste and minimize food spoilage.

More info: Workshop FAQs

Soil Science

Learn more about the biology and chemistry of soil and compost from Clark College professor, Dr. CeCe Crosby.

Backyard Composting FAQs

Preventing Food Waste FAQs

  • What is freezer burn?
    Freezer burn usually occurs when food has been improperly stored or it has been in the freezer too long. It is more of a quality issue than a safety issue, so it is still safe to eat. It is recommended to use that food in other foods. For example, if some meat has freezer burn, you could use it in a soup or stew.
  • What are good options for freezer storage?
    There are many options for freezer storage. You could invest in a vacuum sealer and vacuum seal your food. Other options include mason jars, reusable plastic containers, yogurt containers for short-term storage, and silicon pouches.
  • Can eggs be frozen in their shell?
    No, do not freeze eggs in their shell. You can crack the eggs and create a scramble mixture and store that in the freezer.
  • Can you compost bread and pasta in your home compost?
    Yes, you can compost bread and pasta, but it is important to make sure that it is covered properly as to not attract pests. It is not recommended to compost these if they contain any oils or sauces.
  • What are some good resources for proper storage?
    The USDA has some great resources to learn more about how to store food properly. This USDA page outlines the basics of refrigeration and food safety.
  • Should you store bread on the counter or in the fridge?
    It’s a personal preference, but bread might lose its moisture if stored in the fridge.
  • When is it safe to cut off mold from food?
    This is a tricky question. It is said that you can cut off an inch of the food surrounding the mold, but this is not always the safest option since mold can reach deeper into the food. This is also a personal preference, so if you feel comfortable eating the food after cutting the 1-inch piece off, that is your decision.

Lasagna Garden Composting FAQs

Recycling Done Right FAQs

  • I agree with reducing consumption, but it seems like the US economy depends on it. What’s the alternative to consumerism for the economy?
    You vote with your purchasing dollars. To move towards a more zero waste approach, try supporting reuse, repair, sharing, and bartering. Conducting a household waste audit can help you identify ways to reduce your overall waste and find alternatives.
  • Do labels on tin cans need to be removed?
    Labels do not need to be removed, but it doesn’t hurt to remove them before you place your items into the recycling cart. You do not need to remove labels from plastics.
  • What do you do with Styrofoam?
    Block foam can go to the transfer stations for recycling. Please never place it in the recycle cart. You can find the locations and times for the transfer stations here.
  • Can paper egg cartons be recycled?
    Paper egg cartons are made by molding small paper fibers together. The shorter the paper fiber, the less valuable it is in the paper recycling process. It is better to compost egg cartons if possible. The current market for Clark County does accept a small percentage of them in curbside recycling.
  • Can milk cartons be recycled?
    Yes, the Clark County curbside program accepts milk cartons and aseptic containers. They must be clean and dry.
  • What kind of aerosols can be recycled?
    As long as aerosol spray cans are empty, they can be recycled in our program. Cooking spray, hair sprays, and spray paint cans, are all accepted. Do not place hazardous product cans in recycle cart.
  • Can refrigerator and freezer boxes, such as a 12-pack of soda or frozen meal box, be recycled?
    Refrigerator and freezer boxes cannot be recycled in Clark County because these contain a liner called Wet Strength to make them sturdy and prevent them from getting wet. This makes them difficult to recycle. Cartons and aseptic boxes that contain orange juice, milk, soups, etc. can be recycled curbside.
  • Can stretchy plastic, such as bread bags, be recycled?
    Yes, plastic film and bags can be taken to many grocery stores to be recycled. Never place these in the recycle cart as they can wrap around machinery at the recycling facility. This causes the whole operation to shut down multiple times a day and is dangerous for the employees to untangle and cut out.
  • Do plastic tubs have to be round?
    Squarish tubs, such as butter tubs, are okay to recycle as long as they are clean, empty, and dry.
  • Can broken glass bottles or jars be recycled?
    No, broken glass bottles or jars should not be placed in the recycling. Please bag broken glass and place it in the garbage.
  • Why do I pay for recycling?
    It costs to have a recycling cart, collect the material, pay for gas/truck, the driver’s salary, etc. You also need to pay for when the machinery has to shut down due to contamination.
  • Can plastic lids be recycled?
    Screw top caps can be left on the bottle, but lids that can easily popped off, i.e. lids for tubs, need to be thrown away. This is because our sorting system sorts objects by shape, so  a flat, plastic lid can get sorted with the paper products and contaminate the load.
  • Do I have to rinse bottles and cans?
    Yes! Empty, clean, and dry please!
  • What do the recycling numbers mean on plastics?
    The numbers are to indicate what type of plastic the product is made of. It is very confusing with the chasing arrows because not all plastics are recyclable. It depends on where you live and what kind of materials your Materials Recovery Facility is able to process and recycle.
  • Can you set out extra recycling at no charge?
    Yes! Extra recycling can be set out next to your blue recycle cart at no additional cost, either contained in a cardboard box or large paper bags.
  • What can I do with electronics?
    Certain electronics are covered in Washington’s E-waste program and can be taken to various locations around the county. You can use the Recycle Right app to find those locations.
  • What kinds of plastics are not allowed in the recycling cart?
    The recycling system in Clark County is guided by the shape and size of objects. Plastic containers that are smaller than 6 oz. shouldn’t go in recycling carts (K-cups, small yogurts tubs, etc.). Other plastics that do not belong in the recycling cart include clamshells, takeout containers, block foam, plastic films and bags, and anything that contained hazardous waste. If it contained hazardous waste such as oil or a household cleaner, this needs to be disposed of at the transfer station.
  • What do you do with medications?
    You can look up drop-off locations on our Recycle Right app. Many pharmacies and police stations accept medications. Please do not throw away or flush medicines down the toilet/sink. When medications enter our water system, they can pollute our streams, rivers, and lakes and cause problems for their ecosystems.

Worm Bin Composting FAQs

Green Cleaning FAQs

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