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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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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?

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

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.

PSC News: June 11, 2019 Meeting Recap

Inclusionary Housing Update – Briefing; Vision Zero Update – Briefing; Building Healthy Connected Communities Along the Division Transit Corridor – Briefing

Agenda

  • Inclusionary Housing Update – Briefing
  • Vision Zero Update – Briefing
  • Building Healthy Connected Communities Along the Division Transit Corridor – 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.

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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 City Council updates rates for residential garbage, recycling and compost service

Effective July 1, 2019, the new rates address higher operating costs for Portland’s 11 franchised garbage and recycling companies.

white woman smiling with brown bag lunch

After a thorough annual review of operating costs, Portland City Council approved a garbage and recycling bill increase to cover higher fees for processing yard debris and food scraps. The increase also includes a surcharge for the voter-approved Portland Clean Energy Fund.

The monthly bill will go up 75 cents per month for most customers beginning July 1, 2019. The rate increase applies to residential garbage, recycling, and composting service at single-family homes and smallplexes up to four units. The City of Portland will re-evaluate the rates in Spring 2020.

Important reminders for customers

  • Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/rates for details and rate notices in 11 languages or call your garbage and recycling company.
  • Property owners of residential (1-4 unit) rental properties are required to set up and pay for service for tenants.
  • It is still important to follow Portland’s recycling list.
  • Visit www.garbagedayreminders.com to find your company, check your collection schedule and sign up for weekly reminders.