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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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Recycle with confidence: Learn how to sort your plastics

Portland doesn’t sort plastics by the numbers on the bottom – learn shapes and sizes instead!

The only rules to remember when sorting plastics in Portland:

Choose the following plastic items for your blue recycling roll cart:

  • Plastic bottles with a neck (6 ounces or larger)
  • Plastic tubs (6 ounces or larger)
  • Plant pots (4 inches or larger)
  • Buckets (5 gallons or smaller)

 But before you throw them in the cart, rinse out the containers and toss the lids into the garbage.

Items for blue roll cart


Sometimes it’s because the items are too small (think lids), making them too hard to sort out from paper, cardboard and other recyclables.

Other times it’s because the global market for a plastic change too frequently (to-go containers, for example). Recycling only works if it makes financial sense for companies to buy the used plastics to turn into new plastics.

What about the numbers on the bottom of plastics?

Ignore the numbers. The numbers on the bottom of plastics refers to the materials they are made from and play no role in what is recyclable in Portland.

Just think size and shape. The allowed plastics – bottles, tubs, buckets and jugs – are the right shapes to get successfully sorted, and they’re the types of plastic that recycling companies want to buy.

Is there any way to recycle these extra plastics?

Yes, for some items. Plastics bags and wrappers can go back to grocery stores. Block Styrofoam can go to Agilyx, a company that has a drop off center.

Ask Metro about items not accepted with your home recycling by calling 503-234-3000 or online at Find a Recycler.

What about plastics labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable?”

Never put plastics labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” into any recycling container. These “plastics” are made to break down quickly and will contaminate the plastics recycling process and reduce the quality of goods produced from the recycled materials.

Check out Metro’s story and video about recycling and turning what you toss into something new.

BPS is looking for a new City Hall Garden Manager

Manage the Better Together Garden at City Hall

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is filling a part-time position to manage the Better Together Garden at Portland City Hall. The Better Together Garden was created in 2009 as a demonstration garden to inspire Portlanders to grow their own food and to donate their surplus to those lacking access to nutritious produce.


About the position

The City Hall Garden Manager will oversee operations of the Better Together Garden at Portland City Hall. This part-time position will have full responsibility in planning crop rotation; procuring seeds, starts, and tools; planting; weeding; maintaining infrastructure; coordinating with other bureaus as needed; harvesting and donating produce; interacting with members of the public; and performing other tasks to keep the garden productive and attractive throughout the year. This position has full authority and discretion over caring for the garden and works largely unsupervised, though the supervisor will assist the gardener in securing reimbursements and other logistical matters. General upkeep of the garden will comprise approximately 60 percent of this position’s time. 

This position will also work with nonprofit service providers to continue and further develop programming that could include produce donation, career training experiences, educational activities, and other programs with youth experiencing homelessness and other populations as the gardener and nonprofit partners see fit. The gardener will harvest and donate produce to nonprofit partners as well as plan and lead workdays with clients. Programming with nonprofit service providers will comprise approximately 30 percent of this position’s time, and planning and program development with the supervisor and nonprofit partners will comprise approximately 10 percent of this position’s time. 

About the Bureau

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland's livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future. We are committed to advancing equity as a means of achieving prosperous, healthy, resilient communities. BPS values a diverse workforce and seeks ways to promote equity and inclusion within the organization. BPS encourages candidates with knowledge, ability and experience working with a broad range of individuals and diverse communities to apply.

To learn more, please visit


This is a casual, part-time position with the City of Portland and is budgeted for an average 3 hours per week, with seasonal fluctuation, at $18 per hour. This position includes a stipend for materials, tools, and other job-related purchases. Casual appointments are not benefits-eligible.

How to apply

Please send a resume and cover letter that includes your relevant experience, qualifications, and interest to by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, 2019. You will be contacted thereafter to notify you whether or not you have been selected for an interview.

Candidates with experience working with people from a variety of different social, cultural, and economic backgrounds should include that information in their application materials. Although not required, BPS encourages candidates that can fluently speak more than one language to include that information in your application materials.

If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, attach a copy of your DD214/DD215 and/or Veteran's Administration Letter stating your disability by e-mail along with your resume and cover letter. You must request Veteran's Preference AND include a copy of your documentation by the closing date listed above. Non-citizen applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at time of application.

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply. If you wish to identify yourself as an individual with a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and will be requesting accommodation, the requests must be made no later than the closing date of this announcement

Beyond the Curb: The journey of a glass bottle

Here’s the journey a glass beer bottle takes when you recycle it.

When you put your recycling out for curbside pickup, you’re connecting valuable materials to markets where they can be remade into new products. You’re also helping reduce Portland’s waste and saving energy and resources.

We get lots of questions about where recycling goes after it’s picked up. Let’s look at a glass bottle and its lifecycle. There are two ways you can recycle glass — in your yellow recycling bin, or if it has a deposit, you can take it to some grocery stores or a BottleDrop Center to get a 10-cent deposit back.

The journey of a glass bottleRecycling is good, but reuse is best!

Oregon’s Bottle Bill provides for a 10-cent return value on most beverage containers and it’s been tremendously successful at reducing waste, litter, and energy and resource use. Recently, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative launched a refillable glass bottle program with seven statewide breweries. Bottles can be refilled 25 times before the glass needs to be melted down and recycled.

Reusing materials is even more efficient than recycling.

Let’s raise a glass to Oregon brewers and refillable bottles!

Cheers to reuse!

Growlers are another way to reuse – and they have expanded from just beer to kombucha and wine too. Most grocery stores offer growler fills, along with brew pubs and liquor stores.

Calling all faith organizations! Seeking proposals for affordable housing on your surplus property

A pilot program to explore opportunities for churches, synagogues and other faith communities to develop affordable units on their property is seeking proposals by January 18, 2019.

Faith communities play a role in providing affordable and safe housing for many Portlanders. As part of the City of Portland’s effort to address the housing crisis, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is launching a pilot program to explore opportunities for faith communities, such as churches and synagogues, to develop new affordable housing units on their properties. The program will also uncover and address barriers to developing affordable housing on faith-owned property. 

The City is requesting proposals from faith communities to explore development opportunities for affordable housing constructed on their properties. Up to five proposals will be selected for a pilot program under this program. Organizations from the selected proposals will receive one-on-one assistance from architects and development consultants to determine:

  • The types of housing development that can fit on the site.
  • What might be financially feasible.
  • City policies or regulations that would need to be addressed.
  • A roadmap for the faith organization to develop the housing.

Pilot program services could include:

  • Concept development
  • Conceptual building designs
  • Conceptual site plan
  • Financial analysis (development pro forma)
  • Financing options
  • Conceptual project timeline and steps in development process

The pilot program services will be provided free of charge through a grant from Metro regional government and managed by BPS. Selected faith organizations will be required to devote time to work with the design and development teams but do not have to fund the pre-development services. Please note this program is currently only considering proposals for permanent and long-term affordable housing. Proposals for pods and temporary shelters will not be considered.


We are seeking a variety of projects, so we encourage all faith communities that are taking steps toward development of an affordable housing project — whether in the very beginning stages or further along — to apply.

Applications are due by Friday, January 18, 2019.
Complete the online application.

To be considered for the design and development services, please fill out the online application form. All applications will be evaluated against several criteria, including location, land availability, project size, development type, land use zoning, diversity of faith communities, organizational capacity and readiness.

Next steps

Pilot study selection will be made by mid-February. The pre-development studies must be undertaken in Spring 2019.

Questions / contact

To learn more about your property, including zoning, permits, and assessments, go to

Have questions, need help or a hard copy of the application? Contact Project Manager Nan Stark at 503-823-3986 or

Portland’s Buttes and Terraces in NE Portland Reviewed for Environmental Protections

Residents living near Rocky Butte, Sullivan’s Gulch, Pier Park, Mocks Crest, Waud Bluff or other northeastern buttes and terraces are invited to review draft remapped environmental overlay zones and attend neighborhood meetings in December and January.

map showing an example ezone

The City of Portland has been protecting streams, wetlands, forests, steep slopes, wildlife habitat and floodplains for more than 30 years. But since 1989, streams have shifted their course, new development has occurred, and technology has improved so much that we can more accurately identify the important resources that need protecting.

So, we’re “rematching” the environmental overlay zones, or ezones, to the actual location of natural resource features on the ground.

What’s an ezone? It’s a tool that the City of Portland uses to protect important natural resources, like streams, wetlands and forests.

How will this affect you?

We expect the overlay zones will only change slightly on most properties. But some properties will receive expanded ezones; others may have reduced ezones. 

You can use the Ezone Review Map to look up your property and determine what kinds of environmental protections apply. You can also request a site visit through the Ezone Review Map and staff will come to your property to review the data.

How do I use the Ezone Review Map?

Postcards in the mail

If you own a property near Rocky Butte, Sullivan’s Gulch, Pier Park, Mocks Crest, Waud Bluff or other buttes and terraces in Northeast Portland and you have existing ezones on your property or the ezones are proposed to change, you will receive a postcard in the mail.

Learn more

Project staff will be attending neighborhood meetings in December and January to talk with residents and answer questions. Look for a meeting near you on the project calendar.

Request a site visit

Staff will be conducting site visits in this area now through spring 2019. To request a site visit, please visit the Ezone Review Map to look up your property; then click “request a site visit.”

Map schedule of projects by area


For more information

Phone: 503-823-4225