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Portlanders’ Garbage and Recycling Rates To Go Down July 1, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 22, 2013

CONTACT

Jocelyn Boudreaux
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
503-823-3660
jocelyn.boudreaux@portlandoregon.gov

Portland, Ore. -- Today, Portland City Council approved a rate decrease for Portland’s residential garbage and recycling customers. Beginning July 1, 2013, residents will see an average decrease of about one percent on their monthly garbage bill. The addition of weekly food scrap and yard debris collection and the switch to every-other-week garbage has resulted in lower rates due to:

  • A 37 percent reduction in garbage going to the landfill.
  • Increased composting and recycling by Portlanders.
  • Decreased cost of food scrap and yard debris collection (composting these materials costs less than landfill disposal).

The monthly rate decrease also comes despite investments by garbage and recycling companies in safer, less-polluting trucks and other increases in disposal costs. The new rates are available at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/rates.

Roughly a year and half after the food scrap composting program went into effect, Mayor Charlie Hales said, “Change is never easy, but Portlanders have demonstrated the program is working. In addition to reducing their monthly garbage and recycling bills,Portlandhouseholds have taken materials that would have gone to the landfill and helped to turn them into a valuable, nutrient-rich product.”

Compost by the numbers

Since the start of the new program, Portlanders have collected close to 120,000 tons of yard debris and food scraps for composting. That’s enough compost to fill over 100 Olympic-size swimming pools. By composting their food scraps, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability estimates thatPortlandresidents have kept over 13,000 tons of food out of the landfill.

In an effort to “close the loop” and make the finished product available for use, compost produced from the citywide program is showing up in community gardens in 33 neighborhoods around town, helping residents to grow healthy and nutritious food.

Information on rates for the 2013-14 fiscal year and program information including service level options can be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/rates.

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