Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

Autumn means decaying leaves and sad, mushy pumpkins for compost bins

Fallen leaves and rotting jack-o-lanterns belong in the green bin.

Compost your Halloween pumpkinsFrom pumpkins and gourds to fallen tree fruit and pruned items, they all go in the green Portland Composts! roll cart. Yard debris includes weeds, leaves, vines, grass, flowers, plant clippings and small branches (less than 4 inches thick and 36 inches long). Large branches that may fall down during storms or stumps that are too big for your curbside container can be collected by your garbage and recycling company with advance notice (and extra fees) or taken to a recycling depot.

This is also the time of year to include seasonal food scraps like apple and pear cores and leftover or half-eaten candy (wrappers belong in the garbage).

From early November to mid-December, removing leaves from our streets is critical: Leaves clog storm drains, flood intersections and make streets slippery.

In Portland, the Leaf Day Districts and Schedule show residents where the highest concentration of mature street trees and leaves are located. The service covers 52 districts which is about one third of the city. These streets require more equipment and crew-power to clean and maintain. 

Don’t forget: There are roll cart weight limits, especially with heavy pumpkins and wet leaves. The 60-gallon green compost roll carts have a 135-pound limit.

PSC News: October 22, 2019 Meeting Information and Documents

Design Overlay Zone Amendments – Hearing

Agenda

  • Design Overlay Zone Amendments – Hearing

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/classification/3687.

For background information, see the PSC website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/psc, call 503-823-7700 or email psc@portlandoregon.gov.

Meeting playback on Channel 30 are scheduled to start the Friday following the meeting. Starting times may occur earlier for meetings over three hours long, and meetings may be shown at additional times as scheduling requires.

Channel 30 (closed-caption)
Friday at 3 p.m. | Sunday at 7:00 a.m. | Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access and will make reasonable accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or provide other services. When possible, please contact us at least three (3) business days before the meeting at 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868 or Oregon Relay Service 711.

503-823-7700: Traducción o interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch | 翻译或传译 | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda | Письменный или устный перевод | Traducere sau Interpretare | Письмовий або усний переклад | 翻訳または通訳 | ການແປພາສາ ຫຼື ການອະທິບາຍ | الترجمة التحريرية أو الشفهية | www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/71701

New methodology protocols affect carbon emissions data for Multnomah County

Trends from 1990 to 2017 show that Portland must do more to reduce emissions over next decade.

Portland’s carbon emissions inventory shows where to focus carbon mitigation efforts and whether we are on track with emission reduction goals. Since the 2017 Climate Action Plan progress report, staff have worked to update all the annual records in accordance with the new Global Protocol for Community-scale GHG Emission Inventories to align with the Paris Agreement (limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius). A newly released climate data report shows the new numbers. 

By updating protocols, Portland stays in alignment with other cities around the world, enabling better tracking against long range goals with greater confidence. Updating protocols is a challenge for cities and can create discrepancies with previously reported emissions. For example, to move to the global reporting protocol, Portland had to update accounting methods for emissions from landfilled waste, wastewater treatment, and fugitive emissions. This required finding new data sources all the way back to the 1990 baseline to consistently compare data year over year.

The City of Portland uses multiple emission protocols to compare results and better refine estimates of emissions produced locally. By reviewing data using different protocols, Portland can make up for gaps in individual methodologies. For example, Portland reports electricity sector emissions by greenhouse gas, a level of detail only available for the Northwest Power Pool, although as discussed above, those emissions are lower than the emissions from Portland’s two electric utilities. Therefore, the use of multiple protocols allows Portland to better understand what’s happening locally.

The time required to find and evaluate new data sets for a protocol change delays the frequency of emissions inventory reporting. Changes to protocols that affect data collection and carbon accounting limit comparability with previously reported data using older methodologies. With a baseline year of 1990, protocol changes create substantial new work as more than 20 years of inventories need to be consistently updated.

A success story and a warning

Despite 26 years of climate planning and mitigation, local carbon emission reductions in Multnomah County have hit a plateau, at around 15% below 1990 levels. This is a success story and a warning. The reductions to date are impressive given population growth since 1990, 38% more people and 34% more jobs. Collectively we have reduced per-person emissions in Portland by 38% since 1990, although it is clear reduction efforts need to rapidly accelerate.

Transportation sector emissions are increasing dramatically, currently 8% over 1990 levels, and 14% over their lowest levels in 2012. Portland has experienced year over year increases in transportation related emissions for the past five years, with transportation emissions growing faster than population growth over the same period.

The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report in October 2018 which projected that limiting warming to the 1.5°C target will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, Portland must reduce our local emissions by 35% in the next 11 years, a daunting task.

New carbon emissions inventory reports on trends from 1990 to 2017

Today, carbon emissions from Multnomah County total 7,700,000 Metric Tons CO2e, which is a 15% reduction from 1990 levels. This decline reflects the continued growth of renewable energy resources like wind and solar in the Pacific Northwest, investments in transit and bike infrastructure, dense and walkable neighborhoods, renewable transportation fuels, as well as the transition from fuel oil to natural gas for heating. This means that a person living in Portland today produces 38% fewer carbon emissions than they would have in 1990. 

Read the full report.

Check your own emissions

Households and businesses can assess their own carbon emissions by using free online tools, like the Cool Climate Network’s calculators: 

PSC News: October 8, 2019 Meeting Information and Documents

Design Overlay Zone Amendments – Briefing; Transportation System Plan – Briefi

Agenda

  • Design Overlay Zone Amendments – Briefing
  • Transportation System Plan – Briefing

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/classification/3687.

For background information, see the PSC website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/psc, call 503-823-7700 or email psc@portlandoregon.gov.

Meeting playback on Channel 30 are scheduled to start the Friday following the meeting. Starting times may occur earlier for meetings over three hours long, and meetings may be shown at additional times as scheduling requires.

Channel 30 (closed-caption)
Friday at 3 p.m. | Sunday at 7:00 a.m. | Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access and will make reasonable accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or provide other services. When possible, please contact us at least three (3) business days before the meeting at 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868 or Oregon Relay Service 711.

503-823-7700: Traducción o interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch | 翻译或传译 | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda | Письменный или устный перевод | Traducere sau Interpretare | Письмовий або усний переклад | 翻訳または通訳 | ການແປພາສາ ຫຼື ການອະທິບາຍ | الترجمة التحريرية أو الشفهية | www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/71701

Portland joins countries and cities around the world to cut down the distribution of single-use plastic

Portland restaurants can only provide single-use plastic items by request, not by default.

Plastic straws, stirrers, utensils, etc

Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once. Let that sink in.

“These non-recyclable single-use plastic items are piling up in garbage cans, on Portland’s streets and in our waterways,” said City of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “We’ve heard from the Portland community and thank the restaurants who have already taken action over the past year to stop automatically offering single-use plastic items. By working together, we can reduce waste and keep Portland beautiful.”  

Last summer, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability worked with local stakeholders on a waste reduction policy to address single-use plastics. The result: As of Oct. 1, 2019, businesses in Portland cannot include plastic straws, stirrers, utensils or individually packaged condiments in a customer’s order for dine-in, drive-through, take-out or delivery. These items can only be provided upon customer request. 

“Last week our bureau released a new climate data report. We are committed to working with Portlanders to set priorities for climate action, and waste reduction plays a role in that,” said Andrea Durbin, director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “This new policy will reduce plastic litter and the demand for energy and resources, including fossil fuels, needed to make single-use items.” 

All retail food and beverage establishments are required to comply, including sit-down and fast food restaurants, food carts, bars, coffee and tea shops, grocery stores, convenience stores, hotels and motels, caterers and food service contractors. This includes educational, medical and governmental institutions that provide food and beverages. The only exception is for meals provided as part of a social service to vulnerable populations, including free or reduced-price meals provided by school systems, homeless shelters and programs that deliver meals to the elderly. 

Community helped to draft an inclusive “by-request” policy instead of a complete ban

In summer 2018, local restaurants, wholesalers, a medical facility, American Disability Act (ADA) advocates, and environmental advocates considered plastics reduction at a series of meetings. Partners from Multnomah County, Prosper Portland and the City of Portland Bureau of Equity and Human Rights were also at the table. 

“Participating in the City’s single-use disposables policy is a given for Burgerville,” said Hillary Barbour, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Burgerville. “We were early adopters of innovative packaging, recycling waste oil into biodiesel, and offsetting 100% of our energy use with green power. Implementing this initiative at all 41 Burgerville locations throughout Oregon and Washington brings us closer to our vision for the Pacific Northwest to be the healthiest region on the planet.”

BPS then worked with Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office to research the policies of other cities, conduct a series of workgroup meetings, analyze community feedback and land on a more inclusive “by-request” policy recommendation. Since some customers would find it difficult or impossible to drink without a plastic straw, the “by-request” approach respects the disability community’s needs while achieving waste reduction. 

Portland food retailers were notified twice over the summer

The City of Portland sent affected businesses notification letters in June and September 2019. 
See the September notification, which included a sign for customers, in English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Korean.  

For more details, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/reduceplastic 
 
###