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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Sunderland Recycling Facility: Leaf Day Compost Available

Sunderland Yard is open to the public during its regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost for each cubic yard of compost, which will typically fit in a small truck bed, is $24.

The City of Portland is a leader in the U.S. sustainability and green building movement. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has embraced the challenge of developing cost-effective methods to recycle materials generated when performing street maintenance operations. Its recycling program is conducted at the City’s Sunderland Recycling Facility and is designed to meet Portland’s sustainability goals by lowering tipping fees for the disposal of material, reducing the need to purchase virgin rock and offsetting operating costs through the sales of compost and recycled products.

City crews use this material for maintenance and repair projects. Some of the recycled material, such as leaf compost and crushed rock, is sold to the public.

Sunderland is responsible for composting the more than 5,000 tons of leaves collected through the City's Leaf Day program. Removing leaves from our streets is critical to maintaining safe streets as they can result in clogged storm drains, flooded intersections and slippery streets.

Other material recycling is also conducted at the facility, including street construction materials (asphalt, concrete, soil) and street sanding material used for winter weather.  

Historical Operations

The Sunderland Recycling Facility rests on a 20 acre lot that was purchased in 1996 with the goal of consolidation the majority of Maintenance Operation recycling efforts. Prior to this acquisition, street construction waste spoils, winter storm street sand and other materials were processed at various other facilities and were recycled at other locations.

Site improvements were made and leaves were first composted at Sunderland in 1997.  The rock crushing operation was moved from the Albina Yard to Sunderland in 2002.

Truck scales were installed at the facility in 2008.  The scales have associated software that tracks each load.  It documents which source the load came from, the volume and weight of the load, and the truck driver’s name.  Prior to 2008 a sign-in sheet was used.

Price List

Service Fee
Asphalt and Concrete Tipping $4 per ton for a clean load
3/4" Rock $10 per ton
Screened Dirt Free
Compost $24 per cubic yard

Crushing Operation

When City crews repair the streets or sidewalks the material they dig up is brought to the recycling facility where the mixture of asphalt, concrete and dirt is processed into a 3/4" minus aggregate product.

Leaf Composting

The leaf collection program begins early November and runs through mid-December. This program focuses on picking up the leaves that fall onto streets. Removing leaves from streets helps reduce slippery road conditions, increasing the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Street leaf removal also reduces street flooding caused by clogged catch basins (grated storm drains). The City infrastructure also benefits from the reduced amount of leaves entering the storm drains.

A new compost turner was purchased in January 2014. This new machine has a restacking system that allows for a single pass for turning and restacking the compost.  During the turning process the compost is aerated and, because of our frequent rain fall, water is added. The temperature and moisture content of the composting leaves are monitored daily to determine when to turn the pile to facilitate the composting process.

The final compost product is used by City crews for soil amendment (mixed with soil in areas in preparation for revegetation), erosion control in areas with exposed soil (e.g., roadside ditches and maintenance projects, etc.), donated to community gardens and sold to the public.

Regulatory Compliance

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a composting registration permit (No. 1441) for the facility. As well as an Air Quality permit for the rock crusher (Source No. 37-0347).

METRO has issued a license for Yard Debris Composting (No. L-041-41B).

Product Quality Testing

Monthly the rock product is tested for gradation by the City’s Materials Testing Lab.

Every other month the final compost is monitored for quality, maturation, and sizing, per the United States Compost Council’s (USCC) monitoring guidelines. The facility has been a member of the USCC since 2007.

Sunderland Recycling facility is located at 9325 NE Sunderland Road. You can call the facility at (503) 823-3500. 

Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 7:00am – 2:30pm.