Bruce Walker

Streaming Media

Publication Date


Document Type



53 minutes


Recycling Industry -- Oregon, Sustainability, Refuse and Refuse Disposal


Interview of Bruce Walker by Zachary Hathaway in NW Portland on November 20th, 2009.

The interview index is available for download.


Bruce Walker became the Solid Waste & Recycling Program Manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) in 1987. He holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Oregon. Prior to his work with the City of Portland, Bruce Walker was a researcher for Resource Conservation Consultants and Resource Recycling Magazine. His experience working on the issue of recycling and resource conservation goes back to 1977; when he began as a CETA Researcher for BRING Recycling, a non-profit recycler in Eugene--before curbside recycling.


PSU student Zac Hathaway interviews Bruce Walker, who is on the city of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and works as a Solid waste and recycling program manager. Walker’s knowledge and experience base in the recycling field began in the early seventies, where he graduated from University of Oregon in 1977 with a political science major. Community oriented and environmentally based political studies shaped his career and he has now worked for the city since 1987. Walker’s ideas on sustainability are based on recycling because it is a community based function that gets people actively involved while having the greatest effect on the environment. At the time of the interview, Portland boasted a 67% recycling rate in 2009, leading the nation, and city council gathered to create a goal of raising that value to a 75% rate. Walker mentions that it is criminal for Midwestern cities to not offer recycling because usable and recyclable material is being needlessly wasted. Although Portland offers recycling and disposal return centers for products such as fluorescent lights, and hazardous waste, he proposes to one day offer curbside pickup. PSU has also been doing studies into how much waste a family consumes so that rates aren’t inflated by haulers. This can potentially create a way to charge consumers on a weight scale, in terms of how much garbage they dispose of. This would offer incentives for people who produce less garbage.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

Persistent Identifier


Article Location