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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

New curbside collection service: A six-month report

Portlanders have been using their new curbside collection service (weekly food scraps/yard debris, weekly recycling and every-other-week garbage collection) for just over six months. During this time, the City has been evaluating progress and gathering data. Adapting to new changes takes time but the efforts residents are making are already paying off.

Here’s what we’ve learned

Portland households are throwing away 44 percent less garbage from this same period last year. By composting food scraps, recycling more and making careful purchasing decisions to avoid items with bulky packaging, nearly 1,800
truckloads of garbage have been diverted from the landfill since the beginning of the program. If those trucks were lined up end-to-end, they’d stretch over eight miles!

Portlanders are turning food scraps into valuable compost. Almost 40,000 tons of yard debris and food scraps has been collected since the new service began. That’s enough compost to fill more than seven Olympic-size pools!

Residents are “right-sizing” their garbage. Portlanders are still finding the right size garbage container to meet their household needs. Some have requested larger garbage containers while others have requested smaller ones. Call your garbage and recycling company about options or to make a change.

We still have room for improvement. Though Portlanders are doing a great job composting their food scraps, a lot of food is still left in the garbage. Don’t forget that every little bit of food makes a big difference.

Community involvement

This spring, community volunteers hit the streets of Portland in a 12-week door-to-door outreach campaign as part of the City’s efforts to offer residents technical assistance. More than 100 volunteers participated in this canvassing effort, including neighborhood associations, churches, ethnic organizations, school groups and volunteers with the Master Recycler program. They answered questions about what can go into the green roll cart and shared tips with thousands of households across Portland.

A big thank you to all the volunteers for helping their neighbors and boosting Portland’s curbside savvy!