PORTLAND -- A major change is coming to Portland's commercial compost program. Starting next year businesses will no longer be able to compost cardboard boxes or any non-food items.

That includes those compostable corn-based containers and utensils, the ones a lot of restaurants use these days.

According to Metro, those compostable products are actually difficult to compost.

It doesn t break down...not in the process were using right now, explained Paul Ehinger, Director of Solid Waste Operations for Metro. It will ultimately get separated out to the extent we can separate it out and then probably going to the landfill.

The changes will happen in two phases.

November 1, 2014, businesses will no longer be able to add cardboard to their food scraps.

March 1, 2015, they will only be allowed to compost food.

This change only affects businesses, not residents.

Metro said residents are already doing a good job at keeping the non-food items out of their compost.

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