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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


Learn how to use BottleDrop to redeem more containers

A step-by-step guide to use BottleDrop to save time and gain money.

BottleDrop Center

“BottleDrop saves time, and is less hassle than how it used to be,” said Chris. Not only does it save time because there aren’t lines, it is clean and fast. Here, Chris shows how to use BottleDrop and how to get the most bang for his buck!


Step 1: Register online or sign up at a BottleDrop Center and get your account card, pre-approved stickers and green bags. Chris already has an account and is ready to go.

BottleDrop bags and stickers


Steps 2 & 3: Fill your bags with returnable bottles and cans, like this beer bottle.

Redeemable items include: Bottles and cans for beer, soft drinks, water, tea, coffee, fruit juice, coconut water, hard cider and kombucha.

Placing bottle into BottleDrop bag     Full bag in back of car 


Step 4: Head to a BottleDrop Redemption Center and choose your option: BottleDrop account, self-serve or hand count. With your own account card, you’ll be credited every time you use the system, and then redeem your balance for cash at any BottleDrop Redemption Center.

Using BottleDrop account card     Placing BottleDrop bag into drop window


Step 5 & 6: Use a BottleDrop Plus kiosk in participating redemption centers and retail grocery stores for store credit. BottleDrop Plus allows you to get 20 percent more for your bottle and can redemptions (that’s 12 cents per container!). This is what Chris does because he shops at the grocery store and can use the store credit immediately.

Redemption options include cash or store credit     Register receipt showing redemption credit


According to Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, the organization that operates BottleDrop redemption centers, more than 60 percent of all returns come through a BottleDrop center and nearly 200,000 Oregonians are green bag account holders. More BottleDrop redemption centers and express locations are coming in 2018.  

Find a BottleDrop location near you at www.bottledropcenters.com.

Resolve to redeem in 2018

Redeem more containers!

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, more types of beverage containers started carrying a 10-cent deposit. These include bottles and cans for tea, coffee, fruit juice, coconut water, hard cider and kombucha. Beer, soft drinks and water containers continue to be accepted at some grocery stores and BottleDrop Centers.

Not accepted: Wine, liquor, dairy or plant-based milk, infant formula and metal cans that require a can opener.

Other changes to the statewide Bottle Bill took place in April 1, 2017. That’s when consumers started getting a dime back for carbonated beverages and water containers recycled at a return center.

When Oregonians take bottles separately to be redeemed, they make it easier for our local recyclers to turn them into something new. Many of these containers are recycled right in our region.

Portland residents can redeem beverage containers by taking containers to a local retailer or to a BottleDrop Redemption Center for money. As always, bottles and cans can still be set out for curbside collection without collecting that dime. At curbside, recycle aluminum and plastic beverage bottles in your blue recycling roll cart and glass bottles in your yellow recycling bin.

Find a BottleDrop location near you at www.bottledropcenters.com.

Say goodbye to your holiday tree

Easy steps and options for holiday tree removal.

Christmas trees

Prepare your holiday tree for pick-up by removing all tinsel, lights, ornaments, wire, nails, stands and other materials that cannot be composted. Trees covered in fake snow are not accepted for composting and must be disposed of as garbage.

Curbside Collection: Tree Pieces

  • Cut the trunk and branches into pieces less than 36 inches long and 4 inches in diameter.
  • Ensure that any tree pieces in your green compost roll cart do not poke above the lip of the cart. Weight limit is 135 pounds.
  • Tie bundles securely with string or twine. Weight limit is 45 pounds.
  • Put extra bundles or cans at the curb on your collection day for an additional $3.75 each.

Curbside Collection: Whole Trees

  • Put trees that are under 6 feet next to your green compost roll cart at the curb on collection day for $4.85.
  • Cut trees down to 6 feet to ensure driver safety.

Nonprofit Pick-up: Whole Trees

Extra holiday trash?

You have options for extra garbage over the holiday weeks.

garbage can

After holiday entertaining and gift giving, you may find excess packaging and bulky items — like Styrofoam™ — filling your garbage container.

Here are some options:

  • Set out an extra garbage can or bag on your collection day for a $5 fee. Can must be 32 gallons or smaller and weigh 55 pounds or less.
  • Items that are too big for your garbage container (such as appliances or furniture) can be picked up for an extra fee. Call your garbage and recycling company a week in advance for a cost estimate.
  • Renters: Talk to the landlord about setting out large or bulky items or extra garbage for collection. There is a fee for these services. If you live in a rental house or smallplex of two to four units, the landlord is required to pay for and provide curbside collection service, including weekly recycling and composting.

Find holiday recycling tips for renters who live in a multifamily community of five units or more.

Need help remembering garbage day? Sign up for free email reminders at www.garbagedayreminders.com.

Spotlight on holiday waste

Each cart plays a part: Put materials in the correct containers after the holidays.

compostQ: How do I dispose of food scraps from preparing my holiday meal — and what about fruitcake?
A: Food scraps, old leftovers and even that fruitcake can be added directly to your green composting roll cart. Old cooking oil from the turkey fryer should go in a container with a tight seal and placed inside the garbage cart.                                

Q: What should I to do with all this holiday wrapping paper?
A: Place paper items in the blue recycling roll cart — cardboard and gift boxes, wrapping and tissue paper, catalogs, greeting cards and envelopes. Bows, ribbon and foil-lined items belong in the garbage.

Q: My holiday party includes lots of one-time use items. Can I recycle or compost them?garbage
A: Any disposable items, from plastic ware to paper plates, go in your garbage container. Even products labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” don’t belong in your recycling or composting roll carts. Use reusable items for your next get-together instead.

garbageQ: What do I do with paper items from my holiday baking?
A: Items like parchment paper and wrappers and liners from cupcakes go in the garbage. Besides yard debris, the only non-food items accepted in the green composting roll cart are paper napkins, paper towels, coffee filters, tea bags and pizza delivery boxes.

Q: One of my holiday gifts is a new computer tablet! What should I do with my old computer?
A: If your old one still works, donate it! Oregon E-Cycles offers free recycling options. Electronics do not belong in your roll carts.

Q: How do I dispose of old batteries?
A: Collect batteries and dispose of them at a local recycling depot or hazardous waste facility. They should never be put in any curbside roll carts.

Q: Can I recycle broken strings of lights?
A:
 Broken lights do not belong in your blue recycling roll cart. Put them in the garbage or recycle them at a local depot. Contact Metro online or at 503-234-3000 to find a location.

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