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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

Quick reference guide to curbside garbage, composting and recycling

Use this guide for weekly recycling and composting and every-other-week garbage collection for residents living in a single-family home or smallplex of 2-4 units.

curbside reference guide

Leave these items out:

Garbage: Computers, monitors, TVs, compact fluorescent lights bulbs (CFLs), hazardous waste and chemicals.

Green Portland Composts! roll cart: “Compostable” containers, pet waste, plastic bags, lumber, dirt, ashes and branches larger than 4” thick and 36” long.

Blue Portland Recycles! roll cart: Plastic bags, diapers, propane cylinders, plastic clam shells, coffee cups/lids/pods and plastic containers under 6 oz.

Yellow glass recycling bin: Light bulbs, vases, broken glass, ceramics, lids and drinking glasses. 

Choose the garbage container size that fits your household needs.

Find more resources to help you dispose of items not accepted at the curb.

Ask the Curbside Hotline Operator: Can I recycle propane tanks in the blue recycling roll cart?

propane tankQ: 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. 

Interested in disposing other items not accepted at the curb?
Contact the Metro Recycling Information online or call 503-234-3000.

Need help remembering garbage day?
Sign up for free email reminders at

KATU’s Afternoon Live and BPS show you how to include the food for Earth Day

Make Earth Day every day by collecting kitchen food scraps for your green roll cart

When you keep food scraps out of the landfill, you celebrate Earth Day every day of the year!

Alicia Polacok from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability shares why, how and when to collect your kitchen food scraps for curbside composting (for Portland residents who live in a single-family home or smallplex of 2-4 units).

Watch the video from KATU Afternoon Live and learn some new tips!

Video of Alicia Polacok at KATU

Want to see more videos about your green Portland Composts! roll cart?
Check them out online at

Community Collection Events offer neighbors spring cleaning disposal options

These events do not accept household hazardous waste, construction demolition and remodeling debris and asbestos-containing materials.

For a reasonable donation / fee, Portland residents can participate in the over 40 Community Collection Events scheduled in April and May. Materials accepted at collection events vary, from bulky items like furniture, mattresses and appliances, to items for recycling and reuse like scrap metal and household goods.

Community Collection Events welcome a wide range of Portland residents, including seniors and people with disabilities. Portland’s Neighborhood Coalitions, the City of Portland, and Metro collaborate to sponsor these events to invest in and build community capacity, including advancing equity, waste reduction and reuse.

Items not accepted at these events include: Hazardous waste materials; all construction, remodeling or demolition materials (see examples below); all kitchen garbage; residential yard debris and trimmings; commercial landscaping; roofing; waste and recyclables collected curbside; and waste not allowed at a regional transfer station.

Read the FAQ about asbestos containing materials at the Metro transfer stations. New rules apply as of April 1, 2017.

Your support in protecting neighborhood volunteers and transfer station staff from exposure to asbestos and keeping our neighborhoods clean and safe is appreciated.

Need to find contact information for your neighborhood association?
Contact the Office of Neighborhood Involvement or call 503-823-4519.  

Have bulky items at other times of the year?
Your garbage and recycling company can remove large items that are not reusable or recyclable for an extra charge. Here are some tips:

  • Call your company a week in advance and they will give you a cost estimate.
  • For a reasonable charge, they will pick up appliances, furniture, large branches, stumps and other big items.
  • For curbside pickup, set bulky items at your curb on the day your garbage and recycling company has agreed to pick them up. 

Now you get a dime instead of a nickel at bottle return centers

Deposit on bottles increased to a dime.

Since April 1, 2017, consumers get a dime back for carbonated beverages and water containers recycled at a return center. This is the first increase in the Oregon Bottle Bill’s 45-year history.

Illustration of bottle with 5 cent label

The Bottle Bill is good for recycling

Oregon was the first state to enact a redemption program back in 1971, and early on, it was clear the program worked. The Bottle Bill collected more than 90 percent of the bottles and cans and reduced litter by 77 percent.

When Oregonians take bottles separately to be redeemed, they make it easier for our local recyclers to turn them into something new. Plus, you can get some money back!

As a reminder, the types of beverages that are part of the current Bottle Bill include carbonated soft drinks, beer, malt beverages, bottled water, flavored water, soda water and mineral water.

Portland residents have options when it comes to redeeming beverage containers. That includes taking containers to a local retailer or to a Bottle Drop Center to redeem these for money. Many of these containers are recycled right in our region. Learn more at

As always, bottles and cans can still be set out for curbside collection without collecting that dime. At curbside, recycle soda and beer cans and plastic beverage bottles in your blue recycling roll cart and glass beer bottles in your yellow recycling bin.

Look for another change beginning January 1, 2018. That’s when more types of beverage containers will carry a deposit, including those for tea, coffee, fruit juice, coconut water, hard cider and kombucha.

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