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Ask the Curbside Hotline Operator: Are there any plastic lids that I can add to my recycling bin?

How to properly recycle plastic lids.

Plasic lids with red X

Are there any plastic lids that I can add to my recycling bin?

No. Plastic lids of any kind – including those on coffee cups, drink cups and yogurt containers – are not accepted in the blue Portland Recycles! roll cart.

Since plastic lids tend to be small, thin and easily hidden by other materials in the mixed recycling container, they need to be left out of the blue Portland Recycles! roll cart. At sorting facilities, plastic lids combine with paper and cardboard as they make their way along the conveyor belts and can end up in bales. Since all recycling materials are sold as a commodity, unwanted materials make those bales harder to sell and, therefore, harder to actually recycle into new paper products.

You can collect small plastic items, like lids, to dispose of at a recycling depot. Find a depot near you through Metro’s Find a Recycler resource.

Need more reminders for common items?
Check out the blog post about what and why to keep some items out of your recycling container.

Have a question for our Curbside Hotline Operator?
Submit your question online or call 503-823-7202.


What’s changed from the Discussion Draft Central City 2035 Plan?

The Discussion Draft Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035) was the culmination of over five years of work and public involvement. Following the release of the CC2035 Discussion Draft in February, hundreds of people attended open houses and drop-in hours on both sides of the river. Project staff attended more than 40 meetings with neighborhood associations, property owners and others throughout the Central City. Additionally, community members submitted some 200 written comments and letters.

The project team considered these comments and input from other agencies and organizations to create the Proposed Draft CC2035 Plan. This blog post identifies some of the most significant changes staff have made by topic area.

Download a new handout to learn more details about each item.

Read more about the Central City 2035 Plan.

New in the Proposed Draft


  • Standards that will increase the amount of ground floor windows on buildings and will result in higher quality landscaping in front of buildings.


  • An incentive to create industrial space in the Central Eastside.


  • Building glazing standards to reduce bird strikes.
  • Smaller portion of rooftops required to be covered by ecoroofs to allow more space for other uses.
  • Administrative rule for public trail system impacts.
  • Standards to reduce the impacts of exterior lighting on wildlife.
  • Updated estimate of existing tree canopy coverage based on 2014 LiDAR data.
  • Updated tree canopy projections.


  • Reduced building heights in parts of Goose Hollow and the Central Eastside to protect view corridors.
  • Reduced building heights in historic districts.
  • Reduced building heights on sites adjacent to parks and other open spaces.


  • Updated Central Reach River Overlay Zone boundary.
  • Updated the definition for river-related uses to allow marine passenger terminal development.
  • Expanded provision for retail in open spaces to the Central Eastside.


  • Revised standard allows owners of historic resources to transfer FAR if they sign an agreement to seismically upgrade their building.


  • Updated policies, targets, studies and projects for the Transportation System Plan.
  • Designates the Central City as a Multimodal Mixed-Use Area.
  • Removed previously proposed Transportation and Parking Demand Management code.
  • Updated maximum parking ratio table.
  • New uses now require a Central City Parking Review.


The Proposed Draft marks the beginning of the formal public legislative process. There are many more opportunities to be heard and have an impact. Learn more about providing feedback and staying informed.

BPS News: Portland City Council adopts new deconstruction ordinance to save quality, historic materials

Deconstruction instead of demolition: Disassembling Portland’s oldest and most historic houses and duplexes will protect public health and save valuable materials for reuse.

deconstruction grant project

Portland, ORE – Today, Portland City Council adopted an ordinance, including code language, which requires projects seeking a demolition permit of a house or duplex to fully deconstruct that structure if it was built in 1916 or earlier or is a designated historic resource. With Council’s unanimous approval of that ordinance, Portland became the first city in the country to ensure that valuable materials from our demolished houses and duplexes are salvaged for reuse instead of crushed and landfilled.

“Our existing older houses are assets: They preserve our built history and contribute to neighborhood character,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “If they must come down, materials from these houses can live on in new buildings. By keeping valuable materials out of the landfill, we ensure the least amount of impact on the environment and neighbors. Deconstruction reduces our carbon footprint; prevents harmful air pollution caused by demolition; and creates good, family wage jobs."

In Portland, more than 300 single-family homes are demolished each year. This produces thousands of tons of waste — a majority of which could be salvaged for reuse. From start to finish, deconstruction protects health, creates pathways to construction careers and generates affordable reusable building materials. Currently, less than 10 percent of houses that are removed use deconstruction.

About 18 months ago, Portland City Council asked the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to develop strategies to increase deconstruction activity as an alternative to mechanical demolition. With the help of an industry- and community-based advisory group, BPS has:

  • Established a deconstruction grant program.
  • Been awarded $50,000 in funding from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to supplement the grant program.
  • Developed recommendations and policy targets that are included in the new rule.  

Today’s ordinance follows up on that resolution and adopts new code requirements, effective October 31, 2016, requiring deconstruction for houses and duplexes built in 1916 or earlier or designated as a historic resource regardless of age. 

Approximately 33 percent of single-family demolitions would be subject to the deconstruction requirement. Increased deconstruction will:

  • Divert 8 million pounds (4,000 tons) of materials for reuse (annually).
  • Create job opportunities that act as a pathway for construction careers.
  • Increase the likelihood of discovering materials containing lead and asbestos for safe removal and disposal.

Training the next generation of deconstruction experts   

Earth Advantage and the Building Material Reuse Association (BMRA) will offer training and certification in deconstruction beginning the week of July 18, 2016. The first training and certification is for contractors. A second training later this fall will focus on developing the skills needed to work on a deconstruction site. Information on training can be found here

Visit the City of Portland’s website, for more details about deconstruction.


Portland project team wins "smart cities" prize

From BPS Partner Portland State University

Smart Cities Portland Project Team

The Portland Action Cluster accepting the GCTC Leadership Award in Austin. Pictured (from left to right): Wilfred Pinfold (Urban.Systems Inc.), Christine Kendrick (City of Portland), Mike Reich (Sensamo), Kristin Tufte (Portland State University), Kevin Martin (City of Portland), Paul Giangarra (IBM Research), Glenn Ricart (US Ignite), John Gordon (Current/GE).


Thanks to author John Kirkland, Portland State University, for sharing this story.

(Austin, TX) -- A “smart cities” project team that includes Portland State University won the Global City Teams Challenge Leadership Award grand prize on June 13.

The $20,000 prize came from US Ignite, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the creation of next-generation internet applications that benefit the public. It honored Portland’s Connected Intelligent Transit Action Cluster team for its ongoing work in developing a sensor-connected “smart” corridor that gathers transit data, traffic signalization information and air quality measurements to help local governments make improved transportation policy choices. 

Portland’s team is one of many around the world. Members of the team include Portland State University, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Portland Bureau of Technology Services, Technology Association of Oregon, Intel Corporation, Urban.Systems Inc., SensamoSeabourne, DKS Associates and TriMet.

The leadership award recognizes teams that are deploying technologically replicable, scalable and measurable Internet of Things (IoT) projects. Portland’s project includes the use of a new applications lab at PSU – the first of its kind in the United States – that collects, stores and shares data about all things related to transportation in the city. The lab promises to be a boon to the City of Portland and mobile application developers as they find ways to streamline the way Portlanders move about the city.

"One of the key components of a "smart city" is using data collected from sensors to assist with decision making and investment planning," said Kevin Martin, Technical Services Manager, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. "Piloting a network of low-cost, connected air quality sensors allows us to assess -- in real-time and at a block-by-block level -- the air quality impacts of our transportation system, and how those impacts change as we modify the system. It also gives the City additional tools to measure the performance of future transportation investments, such as the planned projects in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan."