Commercial Composting

Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling Program hired Cascadia Consulting Group to prepare an assessment and develop options regarding organic materials management in the Columbia Gorge region. The study region included the Tri-County area, plus Klickitat and Skamania counties on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. You can download the Cascadia study here.

Organic materials are compostable and grindable carbon-containing materials such as green and woody yard trimmings, food scraps, food processing and fruit packing byproducts, compostable but non-recyclable paper ("soiled paper"), forest biomass, clean scrap wood, manure, and orchard and agricultural residues. These materials represent a significant portion of disposed waste.

When organic materials enter the disposed municipal solid waste (MSW) stream, they are costly to collect and haul, and they produce greenhouse gases that are released to the atmosphere as they decompose in landfills. The open burning of yard debris, orchard trimmings, and other organics adds to haze in the Columbia Gorge and can contribute to respiratory ailments in nearby populations. Organics are valuable, nutrient-rich materials that can be used to amend soil or generate energy. Currently, Oregon's Tri-County area-consisting of Hood River, Sherman, and Wasco counties-has few options available for diverting these materials.

On January 20, 2010, the Tri-County Hazardous Waste and Recycling Program (TCHWRP) held a community meeting to address how to manage organics materials in the Columbia Gorge. Community participants included local residents, agricultural growers, businesses, and organics management professionals from within the Columbia Gorge and elsewhere. Cascadia Consulting Group and the TCHWRP provided information from an organics inventory of the Columbia Gorge area, an assessment of the current organics management infrastructure, and interviews with local stakeholders and organics management professionals. Cascadia also presented potential organics management scenarios and the criteria used to score them. Stakeholders asked questions and provided comments during two discussion periods.

Following publication of our study, a local company (Dirt Hugger, LLC) received a permit from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to operate a commercial composting facility at Dallesport, WA. Initially, the Dirt Hugger facility processed yard debris from Hood River Transfer Station and The Dalles Disposal as well as limited amounts of organic material from commercial sources in the Gorge.

In the summer of 2011, DEQ permitted Dirt Hugger to collect pre- and post-consumer food waste from restaurants, packing houses and supermarkets.

For more information about Dirt Hugger, click here:

If you wish to be involved or to know more, please do contact us: (541) 506-2632 or

Managing My Materials


Upcoming Events

2018 Household and Small Business
Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule


Hood River
February 23, 9am-2pm
May 18, 9am-2pm

The Dalles
February 24 18, 9am-2pm
May 19, 9am-2pm

April 14, 10am-2pm – Maupin
April 21, 10am-2pm - Parkdale
May 4, 10am-2pm - Moro
May 5, 10am-2pm -  Dufur
Ag Events
May 4, 10am-2pm - Moro
October 31, 10am-2pm – Hood River
November 1, 10am-2pm – The Dalles

Click here for full listing and more info
about our 2018 Hazardous Waste Events.