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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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News and Tips on Garbage, Recycling, Composting and Reducing Waste at Home


Two changes starting July 1, 2019: New garbage rates and collection schedule

There are new garbage rates and schedule changes for residential customers.

Garbage bills are changing

Portland City Council approved a garbage and recycling bill increase in May to cover higher fees for processing yard debris and food scraps and a surcharge for the voter-approved Portland Clean Energy Fund. Rates for most customers will go up by 2% to 3% beginning July 1, 2019. That is approximately $.75 more per month.

Find the new rates online or call your garbage and recycling company.

Curbside collection schedules

collection schedule purple

The 2019-2020 Garbage Collection Schedule is out! Portland residents are sent one of two versions (orange or purple) based on street address because garbage and recycling company routes vary around the city. Find your schedule at www.garbagedayreminders.com.

As a reminder, there are no schedule changes for holidays, except two twice a year – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. That means collection takes place as usual on July 4 for Thursday customers.

Your Curbside Guide

Find out what goes where for garbage, compost and recycling.

Need a recycling refresher? Grab Your Curbside Guide for everyday home reminders on what materials are accepted.

Preparation reminders

  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap cannot be recycled at home. Throw them in the garbage.
  • Rinse containers before placing in the blue recycling roll cart and yellow glass bin.
  • Do not include caps or lids for recycling.
  • Take off plastic stickers from fruit and vegetables before placing peels in the green compost roll cart.

Find the guide online or download it in one of 11 languages.

Garbage and recycling instructions

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.