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

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