Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

An investment in fresher air

Portland residents benefit from newer, cleaner garbage, recycling and composting trucks.

In 2008, City Council approved BPS clean fleet requirements for residential garbage, recycling and composting companies to follow when purchasing new trucks. Over the last seven years, these companies have been phasing in new trucks that release 90 percent less of the emissions that cause climate change, smog and soot.

Beginning this year, garbage, recycling and composting companies are required to replace trucks 12 years or older with new, more energy efficient vehicles. While it may sound counterintuitive to our reuse ethic, newer diesel engines are much cleaner than older trucks.

BPS staff conducted site visits to all 15 residential garbage, recycling and composting companies last fall to determine compliance with the 2016 residential clean fleet requirements. At these site visits, staff identified trucks, including older trucks, which can only be used as backup trucks on residential routes. Beginning in 2018, BPS will visit commercial garbage, recycling and composting companies to inspect and ensure trucks that are subject to the clean fleet requirements are in compliance.

Diesel trucks are required to use a minimum of 20 percent biodiesel, which reduces carbon emissions from the fuel used for collection services by 15 percent. Nearly half of Portland’s residential customers’ garbage, recycling and compost is collected by trucks using compressed natural gas, an even cleaner-burning fuel. As fueling infrastructure becomes available, we expect to see more haulers choose this more efficient, lower-cost fuel type. 

From BPS Director Susan Anderson: Happy Earth Day! It's time to celebrate -- Portland leads nation on climate action!

A 21 percent drop in Portland carbon emissions is cause for celebration.

Over the past decade, cities have become the epicenter of climate action. From recent events, such as Mayor Hales championing Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan on the global stage to our long-term focus on local climate action in every sector, Portland residents, businesses and government are making a difference.

We are thrilled to report that Portland is on its way to achieve the 80 percent carbon reduction goal established in 2009. Since the early 1990s, the City has set ambitious goals and taken steadfast action, and finally our hard work is paying off.

The results speak for themselves: Since 1990, Portland has reduced carbon emissions by 21 percent, while increasing population by more than 30 percent and total jobs by more than 20 percent. On a per-person basis, that’s equal to 40 percent less carbon pollution for every Portlander.

It’s fantastic to see this progress in every sector of the economy. For example:

  • Low-carbon transportation makes a huge difference. Gasoline sales are down seven percent, even with the 33 percent increase in population since 1990. This is the result of more Portlanders using public transit, walking or biking, driving shorter distances, driving more efficient vehicles, and using lower-carbon fuels including biodiesel and electric vehicles.
  • Energy efficiency saves money and reduces carbon emissions. As a result of energy efficiency investments, residential energy use has declined nearly 10 percent below 1990 levels, even as our homes have gotten larger.
  • Citywide recycling and composting works. Since 1990, emissions from Portland’s land-filled waste has decreased by 82 percent — thanks to residential and commercial recycling and composting, coupled with methane capture at the landfills.
  • Portland City government is walking the talk. Through energy efficiency projects, the City now saves more than $6 million annually on City government electricity and natural gas bills.
  • More of our electricity is generated from lower-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, hydro and natural gas.
  • More complete neighborhoods mean less energy use per person.By increasing the number of people who have access to wonderful, walkable neighborhoods with restaurants, stores, parks, libraries, grocery stores, breweries, schools and more, people are able to drive less, and walk and bike more. This means lower transportation costs and lower carbon emissions.

So what’s next for Portland?

Portland is significantly ahead of the national trend, but we have a way to go to meet our target to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. Nationally, total carbon emissions have actually increased by about 8 percent since 1990, while Portland total emissions have been reduced by 21 percent. So we are absolutely heading in the right direction, while growing a prosperous, healthy and more equitable community.

Recent actions indicate we can reach our goals by continuing to take action:

  • Walk, bike and take transit.
  • Drive more fuel-efficient or electric cars.
  • Compost and recycle, and buy durable goods that last.
  • Invest in solar on our homes or community solar projects.
  • Shift more utility power generation from coal to renewable energy sources, as required by new Oregon state law.
  • Insulate our homes and replace aging heating and cooling equipment.
  • Improve lighting, HVAC and other systems at local stores and office buildings, and in schools and public buildings.
  • Make cost-effective energy efficiency investments in industrial businesses.
  • Plant trees. They sequester carbon and shade our homes and buildings.

These actions can help reduce your carbon footprint and often can improve your health or save you money. Learn more at



Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability


Make spring cleaning easy with Community Collection Events

Portland residents now have a wide range of proper disposal options for household bulky waste while prioritizing and promoting recycling and reuse.

collection event itemsWith over 40 neighborhood events scheduled around Portland in April and May, residents all over the city will have a chance to clean up unwanted clutter from their homes, basements and garages. Materials accepted at Community Collection Events vary, from bulky items like furniture, mattresses and appliances, to items for recycling and reuse like scrap metal and household goods.

As funding sponsors of these events, both BPS and Metro are providing more information about asbestos and prohibiting some materials from community collection events.

Items not accepted at these events include: hazardous waste materials; all construction, remodeling or demolition materials (see examples below); all kitchen garbage; residential yard debris and trimmings; and waste and recyclables collected curbside.

Examples of high risk construction materials suspected of containing asbestos:

  • Flooring: vinyl tiles, vinyl sheet, mastic
  • Walls: plaster, decorative plaster
  • Siding: cement siding shingles “Transite”
  • Ceilings: acoustical tiles, “popcorn” and spray-on texture
  • Insulation: spray-applied, blown-in, vermiculite, pipe, HVAC and lagging
  • Electrical: wire insulation, panel partitions
  • Other: fire doors, fire brick, fire proofing

Your support in protecting neighborhood volunteers and transfer station staff from exposure to asbestos and keeping our neighborhoods clean and safe is appreciated.

Some cleanup events accept a broader range of items, so be sure to check with your neighborhood coalition for their complete list. Find details about Community Collection Events hosted by neighborhood associations or community groups through your neighborhood coalition office:

Contact the Office of Neighborhood Involvement or call 503-823-4519 to find contact information for your neighborhood association. 

Your garbage and recycling company can remove large, bulky items that are not reusable or recyclable for an extra charge. Call your company a week in advance and they will give you a cost estimate. For a reasonable charge, they will pick up appliances, furniture, large branches, stumps and other big items. For curbside pickup, set bulky items at your curb on the day your garbage and recycling company has agreed to pick them up.

Laying the Groundwork for the Off-road Cycling Master Plan

Off-road Cycling Master Plan facilities overview and inventory

Developing Portland’s Off-road Cycling Master Plan requires a strong foundation. This foundation starts with a collective vision and desired outcomes, and understanding the types of off-road cycling trails and facilities and what types are currently available in Portland.

Vision and Desired Outcomes

The Off-road Cycling Master Plan Project Advisory Committee developed a shared vision, goals and outcomes to guide the planning process.

Existing Off-road Cycling Trails and Facilities

The City of Portland allows off-road cycling in seven City-owned locations. These include trails in Forest Park, Powell Butte Nature Park, and Mt. Tabor Park, as well as bike parks at the New Columbia Bicycle Skills Park and Ventura Park. In addition, the Portland International Raceway is open to off-road cycling for competitive events. Gateway Green is planned for off-road cycling trails, but is not yet developed.

The inventory maps the off-road trails and bike parks at each of these locations that are open to people on bicycles.

Types of Off-road Cycling Facilities

The Off-road Cycling Master Plan is planning for a system of different types of facilities to meet the range of off-road riding experiences sought by Portland residents. Trails and bike parks can differ greatly in type and in technical challenge and experience offered. This overview describes the factors that help define the spectrum of off-road experiences: preferred riding style; age and skill level; setting; scale and type of facility. The typology table lists the universe of facility types, from small neighborhood-scale bike skills parks, to various types of off-road trails, to large competitive venues. Not all types of facilities will be appropriate to community needs and sites in Portland.

Through community input and technical analysis, the planning process will identify the types of trails and facilities that make sense for Portland and meet the needs of the community. These community needs will be defined in a needs assessment. This information and further community input will drive the discussion about which of the possible types of facilities, at what scale and setting, should be included in the Master Plan for the City.

Comprehensive Plan testimony accepted until April 27

City Council continues hearing on Commissioner-sponsored amendments

After another public hearing on potential City Council amendments to the Draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan on April 20, 2016, Commissioners decided to continue hearing testimony until Wednesday, April 27. More than 75 people testified at the hearing, which had been continued from April 14. The most frequently cited items included policies related to open data, middle housing, anti-displacement and historic preservation. The Council also received a large number of comments about the proposed conversion of Broadmoor Golf Course to industrial land, Eastmoreland zoning designations and many other proposed Comp Plan Map changes.

At the end of the April 20 hearing, there were more than 50 people who had signed up but didn't have an opportunity to testify. The Council agreed to continue the hearing on April 27 at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers. Oral testimony on April 27 will be limited to those signed up to speak on April 20 who were not able to testify that day.

Written testimony about the potential Council amendments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 27. Comments can be sent via email to, submitted online via the Map App, mailed to the Council Clerk (1221 SW Fourth Ave., Room 130, Portland OR 97204), or delivered to the Council Clerk during the hearing on April 27. 

The Council closed oral testimony on the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA), and other related supporting documents. Written comments on those documents will continue to be accepted until Friday April 22 at 5 p.m.

The Council will begin voting to accept or reject the potential amendments on April 28 and May 11. The final vote on the City’s new 2035 Comprehensive Plan is expected in June 2016.