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The City of Portland, Oregon

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

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It’s not easy being green: How to use and care for your compost roll cart

Compost tips for the curb and the backyard.

Yard work anyone? As the weather gets warmer, the longing to be outdoors goes along with it. There is plenty to do around the house, including making the most of your compost cart.

How to clean your green roll cart

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.

putting a pizza box in the green cart

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

Another approach to a clean roll cart: Contact your garbage and recycling company to arrange for them to deliver a clean cart for a $12.50 fee.

Here are some additional 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.
  • Find videos and tips at www.portlandcomposts.co

Compost helps farmers and gardeners grow healthy food

One of the benefits of composting at the curb is that you are participating in a closed loop system: Your food scraps and yard waste become a nutrient-rich soil amendment and the finished product can be purchased for use in gardens, landscaping and agriculture. 

Reminder: Remove fruit and vegetable stickers before adding scraps to your kitchen compost container. These are plastic and won’t break down into compost. The same goes for plastic plant pot markers and plastic bags.

putting food scraps in the green cart

Backyard composting tips

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.

When used as mulch, compost will reduce your need to water. Use it to enhance the soil, make a potting mixture, or mulch around plants and shrubs.

  • 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.

Questions & Answers

Our Curbside Hotline team loves to answer your questions

paper berry containerQ: Are green cardboard berry containers recyclable?

A: Yes, if they are not stained with berry juice, cardboard berry containers are accepted in the blue recycling roll cart. Plastic containers are not recyclable.

Q: Who’s my garbage company?

A: Look on the side of your roll carts or visit garbagedayreminders.com to find your company (subscribe to email reminders while you’re there). If your container wasn’t emptied on garbage day, or you have a question about your bill, contact your company.

recycling icon with question mark inside

Q: Do the numbers on plastics mean they’re recyclable?

A: No. Plastics accepted at the curb are determined by size and shape. The numbers are used by manufacturers to mark what the product is made of.

Q: Has recycling changed?

A: No. The list of materials accepted in your blue recycling cart has stayed the same since 2008. There is still global demand for the materials on Portland’s list for the manufacture of new products. Portland has one of the highest rates of recycling in the country - and that’s thanks to you!

propane cylinderQ: Can I recycle propane tanks in the blue recycling roll cart?

A: No. Propane tanks don’t belong in curbside recycling. Ask Metro where to take them for proper disposal. These items are pressurized cylinders. They are hazardous and can cause explosions or fires in collection vehicles. There isn’t an easy way for collection drivers to tell if tanks are empty or contain propane, so they need to be recycled outside of the curbside collection system, typically at a hazardous waste facility. Learn more about propane disposal at Propane 101.

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

Portland City Council gives businesses more time to comply with new single-use plastics reduction policy

It’s all about waste reduction: In October 2019, Portland customers of dine-in, drive-thru, take-out and food delivery businesses will need to request single-use items instead of receiving them automatically.

single-use plastic items


NEWS RELEASE
News from the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Friday, June 14, 2019

CONTACT
Christine Llobregat
503-823-7007

In late May, Portland City Council approved a new effective date for Portland’s new single-use plastics reduction policy. Starting October 1, 2019, food and beverage retailers in Portland cannot automatically include plastic straws, stirrers, utensils or individually packaged condiments in a customer’s order for dine-in, drive-thru, take-out or delivery. These items can only be provided upon request by the customer.

“A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the plastic problem,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “In 2011, Portlanders did an amazing job moving away from plastic bags at the grocery checkout. Reducing the use of plastic straws and other single-use plastic items is another important step in the right direction.”

The new policy aims to reduce plastic litter and to reduce the use of energy and resources – including fossil fuels – that are needed to make items that are only used once.

Questions?

Your Curbside Guide

Find out what goes where for garbage, compost and recycling.

Need a recycling refresher? Grab Your Curbside Guide for everyday home reminders on what materials are accepted.

Preparation reminders

  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap cannot be recycled at home. Throw them in the garbage.
  • Rinse containers before placing in the blue recycling roll cart and yellow glass bin.
  • Do not include caps or lids for recycling.
  • Take off plastic stickers from fruit and vegetables before placing peels in the green compost roll cart.

Find the guide online or download it in one of 11 languages.

Garbage and recycling instructions

Portland City Council directs Smart City PDX and the Office of Equity and Human Rights to lead implementation of data privacy and information protection principles for City operations

Portland continues to be a national leader by prioritizing data privacy and digital equity in its Smart City work.

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s (BPS) Smart City PDX (SCPDX) program, in collaboration with Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office and the Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR), proposed a new set of guidelines to Portland City Council today to help protect private and sensitive data managed by the City of Portland. The Citywide Privacy and Information Protection Principles resolution was approved with a unanimous vote.

“These privacy and information protection principles emerged from the need to build trust with communities and across City agencies around data and information management,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “We are building the next generation of digital public services, services we will strive to make available to all Portlanders while minimizing risk and maximizing benefits.”

Why are these principles important for Portland?

In this new data-driven age, communities are more vulnerable to misuse of data, particularly marginalized communities. These principles highlight the importance of safeguards that guide City practices. Robust privacy and information protection are cornerstones for building trust across organizations and people. They are also an important foundation for developing policies to guide the City’s use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

“This resolution is an example of community centered governing. The world of data and technology is quickly transforming the ways in which we travel, work, shop, receive medical care, basically everything in our daily lives,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who championed the resolution as Commissioner-in-Charge of the Office of Equity and Human Rights. “As local government, it is our civic duty to strike a balance between granting Portlanders easier access to key City services while upholding each person’s right to privacy.”

Resolving complex issues that Portland faces, like homelessness, traffic congestion and people’s mobility, transition to clean energy, and safe spaces for all may require the collaboration of multiple agencies and community organizations to exchange data. Without clear policies, procedures and resources dedicated to managing information using modern standards, this type of agile, responsible data use won’t be possible.

“Our City government collects data and information for different purposes—like when residents pay water bills or book classes through the Parks bureau,” said OEHR Director Dr. Markisha Smith. “We need to assure access to services for underserved communities without creating new harms or exacerbating existing harms.”

Developing these principles involved City staff from the Mayor’s office, Smart City PDX, Office for Community Technology, information security, legal and equity teams, and experts involved in privacy efforts at the City of Seattle and City of Oakland. After the first draft was ready last year, it took several months to get feedback from community members, technical advisory bodies and all bureaus, resulting in the draft resolution submitted to City Council.

“The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has a history of working across multiple City agencies and with our community to address Portland’s biggest, most complex challenges, from climate change to housing affordability,” said BPS Director Andrea Durbin. “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our SCPDX partners to design a more equitable digital future.”

Next steps

Now that Portland City Council has approved the resolution, BPS and OEHR staff will work with other City of Portland bureaus to implement the principles. Staff will identify both short-term and long-term procedures needed for implementation. They will work to create and review policies needed to support practices aligned with the Privacy and Information Protection Principles. Implementation will also include determining necessary staff and budget, putting the principles in place as part of a Citywide data governance strategy for City operations. Ensuring community involvement in the development of these procedures and policies will be central to the work.

Visit: www.smartcitypdx.com/privacy-principles

Email: smartcitypdx@portlandoregon.gov

Media contact: Christine Llobregat, 503-823-7007

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