This week and last, the Metro Council met to discuss possibilities for the future of the region’s trash. The greater Portland area has a reputation for managing waste well. But the council sees room for improvement.

Paul Slyman is director of properties and environmental services for Metro. Speaking on OPB’s Think Out Loud, he said he’d like to see the city do more with food waste.  

“A lot of that food you can send to what’s called a digester,” said Slyman. “What you do is you control that food and you create a gas. That gas can be burned for electricity or it can be used in vehicles.  You can create a very, very useful liquid fertilizer that can be used in nursery and other agricultural applications.”

Despite the curbside composting program, the Metro area still says that biodegradable waste accounts for nearly a fifth of the area’s waste.