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


News and Tips on Garbage, Recycling, Composting and Reducing Waste at Home

How Portlanders can make the most of holiday food scraps

The holiday season often brings more food, festivities and the potential for increased waste. This year, include the food by making sure your holiday food scraps and leftovers end up in the green Portland Composts! roll cart.


Try a few of these simple tips to help make curbside composting easy during the holiday season.

In the kitchen: Store your kitchen compost pail next to your prep area so it’s handy during food preparation. Keep your pail tidy by lining it with newspaper, a paper bag or an approved compostable liner. You can also wrap up food scraps in a piece of newspaper before placing them in your kitchen pail.

Creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers provides a better option for food you purchased and prepared for others.

To get the most from your bird, make stock with the bones before you compost it. It's easier than you think. By adding water, carrots, onions, celery and perhaps some favorite herbs and spices or even white wine, you can create flavorful stock to freeze for future winter cooking.

Enjoy your leftovers (many holiday foods taste better the second day), make a turkey sandwich, a casserole or get creative with your own concoction!

And when you’ve gotten everything out of your meal, add the turkey bones and any other food left to your green compost roll cart. 

On your pickup day: Set your green compost roll cart on the curb every week, even if it’s not full.  Before you empty your kitchen pail into your green roll cart, try placing a few sheets of newspaper, a paper bag or a pizza box on the bottom of the roll cart to absorb moisture. Even better, you can layer your food with some leaves or yard debris to absorb moisture and odors.

Find more ways to save money and waste less food this holiday at Resourceful PDX.

Is it food? It's compostable!
Get a detailed list of what goes in the green compost roll cart.

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

VIDEO: Watch where your curbside recycling goes and how it’s processed

Have you been curious about what happens to your recycling after it leaves the curb?

Check out this video Metro made at Far West Recycling, one of the Portland region’s Material Recovery Facility where recycling materials go after they leave your blue Portland Recycles! roll cart.

Read a previous post about recycling common items and what to leave out of your curbside container including Metro's story series about the ins and outs of recycling in the Portland region.

Have questions about recycling right?
Contact the Curbside Hotline at 503-823-7202 or ask a question online.

Ask the Curbsider Hotline Operator: How do I keep my green Portland Composts! roll cart clean?

Options for keeping a clean green roll cart.

washing a roll cart

Q: How do I keep my green Portland Composts! roll cart clean?

A: As with every chore, it’s either do it yourself, recruit a teenager, or pay someone else to cross off the task from your list.

Get some supplies ready to wash your roll cart: With a little dish soap, a handled brush or old rags and the garden hose, you can make the cart sparkle with some elbow grease.

Please pour the dirty water onto grass or gravel, not down the storm drain.

You can also contact your garbage and recycling company to arrange for them to deliver a clean cart for a $12 fee.

Here are some other tips for maintaining a cleaner roll cart:

  • Line the bottom of your green cart with newspaper, a paper bag or a pizza delivery box to help absorb moisture.
  • Layer food scraps in between yard debris to reduce odors and to contain messier foods.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your compost cart to reduce odors and deter insects.
  • Store your cart in the shade in warm weather.

Want to see a video about cleaning your green roll cart?
Check it out online at

Need to know how to contact your garbage and recycling company?
Find your company and more at

Make nutrient-rich compost at home

Adding food scraps to composter

Composting turns your yard trimmings and vegetable scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your garden. When used as mulch, compost will reduce your need to water. Use it to enhance the soil, to make a potting mixture, or to add mulch around plants and shrubs. 

For Portland residents who want to create their own compost, you can set up a home-based system to capture both scrap materials for your backyard pile – and still include the food for your green Portland Composts! roll cart.

Toss yard debris and vegetable scraps in your backyard composter to get you started – and keep meat, grains, dairy and bones in your green curbside roll cart.

The basic ingredients for compost are “browns,” “greens,” air and water. Browns—like fall leaves and woody materials—are high in carbon, an essential energy source for microorganisms in the compost. Greens—like grass clippings and fruit and vegetable trimmings—are high in nitrogen, an essential nutrient for the decomposer organisms.

Get tips for backyard composting success at Metro. Find resources, including how to make your own compost bin, purchase one at a local garden center or from Metro at reduced rates.

Have more questions about backyard composting?
Contact Metro at 503-234-3000 or find more information online.

Need help with curbside composting?
Find videos and tips at