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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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News and Tips on Garbage, Recycling, Composting and Reducing Waste at Home


Recycling doesn’t have to be a nightmare!

Be a fearless recycler.

Illustration of plastic items to look like ghosts

In Portland, the items you can recycle are the same whether you are at home or at work. When you recycle correctly, more materials will get remanufactured into new things.

Top 6 items to keep out of your recycling container —throw them in your garbage or better yet, don’t buy them in the first place!

    1. Plastic bags, plastic film and wrappers
    2. Paper and plastic drink cups, straws and coffee cups
    3. Frozen food boxes and trays
    4. To-go containers and “clamshells”
    5. Styrofoam™ blocks and foam peanuts
    6. Diapers, of course!

Learn what’s in and what’s out

Get a guide in multiple languages or contact the Curbside Hotline at 503-823-7202.

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Safely dispose of prescription drugs and documents on October 26

Make a stop at this community event to turn in unwanted documents for shredding or prescriptions.

Attend a prescription drug disposal and shred event in Portland on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Drive, walk or bike and drop off your unwanted or expired prescription drugs and sensitive documents. Drugs will be safely incinerated and documents will be securely shredded on site. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., or earlier if the trucks fill to capacity. Location: 4735 E. Burnside Street in Portland.

What’s accepted at the prescription drug disposal event?

prescriptions acceptedTake this stuff: Prescription medications and samples, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, and liquid medication in leak-proof containers.

Don’t take this stuff: Thermometers, sharps, syringes, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, inhalers, EpiPens. To dispose of sharps, contact Metro at 503-234-3000 or through Find a Recycler.

What’s accepted at the shred event?

Take this stuff: Up to two grocery bags of documents.

Don’t take this stuff: Cardboard or three-ring binders.

Give back!

Sunshine Division barrels will be available for donations of canned food, dry pasta, and non-perishable food for needy families. Tax deduction forms will be provided.

Need to know exactly what to bring?paper shredding accepted

Check out the full list online.

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.

Deliver your greasy pizza box to the compost cart

Pizza delivery boxes belong in the green Portland Composts! roll cart

Does back to school time have you ordering pizza delivery or picking up a pizza on-the-go?

pizza box compostingUs too!

Remember: Greasy pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Yes, pizza boxes are cardboard, but the paper fibers cannot be separated from the oil during the manufacturing process that converts cardboard into paper pulp.

Use your green curbside compost cart instead. That goes for any pizza delivery boxes from places all over Portland. One exception: Frozen pizza boxes belong in the garbage.

Find more compost tips at www.portlandcomposts.com.

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

Oregon E-Cycles turns 10

Statewide electronics recycling program celebrates 10 years

TVs and monitors being loaded into truck

The statewide electronics recycling program, Oregon E-Cycles, turns 10 this summer. That’s 10 years of free recycling options for Oregonians.

Residents can take computers (desktops, laptops and tablets), monitors, TVs and printers to participating Oregon E-Cycles collection sites for free recycling. Computer peripherals (keyboards and mice) are also accepted at no cost.

Obey the law: Don’t put electronics in the garbage

Ecycles logo and illustrations of electronics

Due to this producer responsibility program, remember that it is against Oregon state law for anyone to throw computers, monitors, TVs and printers in the trash. They must be taken to a participating electronics recycling collection site.

It is legal to throw peripherals, such as keyboards and mice, into the trash, however recycling is encouraged. Especially because our modern-day electronic devices contain toxic materials, such as lead, cadmium and mercury, which can be dangerous if even small amounts are released into the air, water or soil.

Find a collector in Portland, where there are over 40 locations to drop off up to seven items at a time.

#OREcycles10