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Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Register to Become a Certified Master Recycler by December 31

Join a volunteer corps of 1400 Master Recyclers who have helped make Portland one of the top recycling cities in the world.

master recycler volunteer corps

Get the deep dive on sustainability topics such as thoughtful consumption, recycling markets and processes, hazardous household products, composting, green building and deconstruction. This popular course consists of eight weeknight classes and two Saturday field trips. The experience offers a blend of presentations by professionals in the field, peer group discussion and project development. After completing the course, graduates put their skills and knowledge to work and commit to volunteer 30 hours of community outreach.

WHAT: Multnomah County 8-week winter course and 30 hour volunteer program.

WHEN: Eight consecutive Wednesdays (starting January 14, 2015), 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm; and two Saturdays (January 17 and February 28, 2015), 8 am – 2 pm.

WHERE: 1900 SW 4th Ave Suite 2500A Portland, OR. 

COST: $50 fee to cover course materials. Limited scholarships are available.

APPLY: Deadline for applications is August 27, 2014 at 12 p.m. This is a popular course. To ensure a positive learning experience and adequate support for volunteers, class size is limited to 30 people. Applications will all be received up to the deadline and then 30 people will be select by a weighted lottery.

Visit for details and to apply.

The City of Portland will reasonably provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities.

The Master Recycler program is brought to you by Metro, the City of PortlandClackamas CountyWashington CountyDepartment of Environmental Quality and Recycling Advocates.

The spirit of Portland is you

Thank you to all our committed volunteers and advisors.

In a city that loves public process, everyone can exercise their “inner planner.” And we’ve benefitted from so many of you who have given time, energy and resources to help shape the work we do. Many thoughtful community volunteers give countless hours to their neighborhoods, advocacy groups and a variety of planning and sustainability projects, all of which help make Portland an even better place.

Many of these volunteers offer their professional expertise and thoughtful consideration through advisory committees, such as supporting the SE and West Quadrant Plans, the Climate Action Plan and its Equity Working Group, and the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC).

In this season of gratitude, I’d like to single out a couple of extraordinary volunteers: André Baugh and Dr. Karen Grey, both of whom serve on the PSC. Their community service was recently celebrated with the Spirit of Portland Award. These awards recognize local individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to positive change in our community to make a lasting impact.

Both Karen and André have given hundreds of hours of their time to the community as members of the PSC, listening to staff briefings and public testimony, and then thoughtfully deliberating with fellow commissioners to produce viable proposals for City Council adoption. For example, during the creation of the Portland Plan, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability received and compiled more than 20,000 comments from community members.

André began his tenure as a commissioner in 2008 and has chaired the PSC for the past two years. Karen was recruited in 2009 during the development of the Portland Plan for her expertise in education and youth issues.

As Portland continues to grow in size and diversity, it is people like André and Karen who help us implement the Portland Plan and ensure a prosperous, equitable, healthy and connected city for all.

For that, we are truly grateful.

Happy holidays,

Susan Anderson


Andre BaughAbout Andre Baugh:
André is a consultant with Group AGB Ltd, a diversity management consulting firm. As PSC chair, Baugh ensures that the commission fulfills its commitment to effective public involvement and recommends balanced, equitable and forward-thinking proposals to City Council. He has presided over spirited public hearings and PSC discussions about West Hayden Island and many other complex projects. André’s focus on equity, which he values deeply, helped guide the commission to a deeper understanding of the issue so much so that equity and inclusiveness have become deeply imbedded in the ethos of PSC. Thanks to André’s advocacy, a thorough analysis of the social impacts of all proposed plans is part of the commission’s deliberative process, and all projects are now evaluated through the equity lens. His perspectives on housing, jobs and economic development, urban renewal, and transportation policies reflect his deep commitment to advancing the growth and development of the city without displacing whole communities.

karen greyAbout Karen Grey: Dr. Grey is the superintendent of the Parkrose School District and has worked for more than 32 years in public education. She chairs the State of Oregon's Education Enterprise Steering Committee, is co-director of the Oregon Collaborative Administrative Mentor Program
with Oregon Department of Education, and teaches educational leadership at both Lewis and Clark College and Portland State University. She is on the Doctoral Council for Lewis and Clark and is a board member of the Classroom Law Project. Her insights on vulnerable populations, community development and how to support successful children and families have grounded the PSC’s discussions in the realities of day-to-day life for many Portlanders. 

The joy of planning: How to “cook up” some really good Centers and Corridors

Key ingredients of Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan revealed through computer-generated imagery, people-on-the-street interviews and footage of Portland’s unique neighborhoods.

At the core of Portland’s plan for the future is a growth management strategy. By that we mean a way to absorb the inevitable population and business growth in ways that can enhance our neighborhoods, protect our natural resources and spread the wealth of opportunities to more Portlanders throughout the city.

A land use plan can do that by focusing people and jobs in places that either already provide access to amenities, services and transit — or that are poised to become that kind of place; vibrant neighborhood centers like Hollywood or St Johns, Multnomah Village and Montavilla or bustling corridors and streets like Sandy or Barbur, Lombard and 82nd Ave. This approach helps improve access to transit, preserves single-family neighborhoods and more land for jobs and open space — while creating great places to live, work and play.

As the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan makes its way through the Planning and Sustainability Commission,  BPS urban designers, graphics and communications staff have been working on a series of videos to show the benefits of Centers and Corridors while illustrating the essential ingredients of these great places.

Each video features interviews with Portlanders on the street in their neighborhoods, as well as Mayor Charlie Hales, BPS Director Susan Anderson, community leaders and developers. The videos also showcase the bureau’s urban design talent in the form of animated maps and renderings, and computer-generated imagery that help us envision the Portland of the future.

Urban Design Studio Lead Mark Raggett summed up the purpose of the videos when he said, “We wanted to show people the benefits of higher density places, where more people could be closer to the things that we like to do and that create a strong sense of community. We wanted to use our visualization skills in a new way to show people how exciting these places can be.”

Fellow urban designer Lora Lillard emphasized how the use of video was a natural progression for the Urban Design team. “Video gives us a better tool to reach a broader swath of people more quickly. We wanted to find new ways to communicate dense and complex topics in a matter of minutes. So we’ve added it to our toolbox.”

The team just released Episode 3: Creating Great Places, the crux of the series because it describes in detail the elements of Centers and Corridors, including shops, restaurants and other amenities; libraries, parks and open space; housing and transit — places to meet our daily needs on foot or by bike. They also provide places to gather and eat, drink coffee (or beer), play or relax — essential elements for a strong sense of community.

So grab the popcorn and enjoy watching Portlanders talk about what they love and would like to see improved about their special places in Portland. And for fun, see if you can catch a glimpse of your neighborhood center or civic corridor.

Eight options to help you find the right kitchen compost container

For small or large households or anyone in between, these tips will help you find a system that works

Metal, plastic, ceramic and bamboo containers

Whether you are new to food scrap collection, are in a new home, or just need a new system, these tips can help you find a kitchen compost container that works for you.

For a smaller household, an empty quart-sized yogurt container works well and cleans up easily in the dishwasher.

A large bucket with a lid can work for a bigger household. Store it under the kitchen sink or next to the garbage can.

Look for something that fits your space and style. Options abound in the housewares department of many local stores.

Just about any container with a lid will work for collecting your food scraps. They key is to choose a size and location that make it easy to use, to empty (into the green composting roll cart), and to keep clean. Remember, you can line the container with newspapers, a paper bag or approved compostable bags.

View how-to videos on food scrap collection, lining your container, keeping your containers clean, or read even more information on composting.

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