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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


Building community through repair

Get your repairable items fixed at a neighborhood Repair Café!

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Does your fall coat need mending? Is your bike begging for working fenders? Fall is a great time to round up the items in your home in need of repair. Repair PDX has several upcoming community events that bring together handy volunteers who like to fix things with people who have items in need of repair. At most events, repair volunteers fix small appliances, bikes and mend garments.

Join us at a Repair Café near you and learn do-it-yourself (DIY) tips to get your items back in use again!

Tuesday, September 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Repair Café at the North Portland Tool Library
2209 North Schofield St

Tuesday, October 17 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Repair Café at Portland Community College Southeast Campus
2305 Southeast 82nd Ave

Thursday, October 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Repair Café at Southeast Portland Tool Library
1137 Southeast 20th Ave

Monday, November 6 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Repair Café at ReBuilding Center
3625 N Mississippi Ave

BPS sponsored Fix-It Fairs begin again in November! There will be a Repair Café at each community fair. Join us on Saturday, November 18 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Ron Russel Middle School, 3955 SE 112th Ave.

Find more reuse and repair events and tips at ResourcefulPDX.com!

Pack less, waste less at summer picnics

Choose to reuse rather than create trash at your BBQ or picnic.

From backyard barbeques to picnics at movies and concerts in the park, summer offers many opportunities to eat and play outside. How you pack your picnic matters. Plan ahead so that fewer items end up in the garbage can at the park.

Choose Durables

reusable plate, flatware and mug

Avoid Disposables

single use plate, flatware and cup

Choose to reuse: Skip disposables and pack durable, non-breakable dishes and real silverware. Grab some cloth napkins that can be used as placemats on your blanket for easy clean up. Pack out and recycle cans and bottles that you use

Reminders: Paper plates, plastic ware, paper and plastic cups are all garbage. These items — even if they are labeled as compostable plastic — do not belong in the recycling or composting roll carts.

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

Your blue recycling roll cart: Details on accepted paper types

Recycle various paper items at home.

Mixed PaperPortland’s extensive recycling system welcomes many types of paper to include in your blue Portland Recycles! roll cart. In fact, it’s been the same system for residents since 2008 when the change was made from bins to carts.

The paper items to include are:

  • Newspapers, magazines, catalogs and phone books
  • Cardboard boxes (single pieces or bundles are limited to 36 inches in any direction; bundle with twine or tape)
  • Scrap paper and junk mail
  • Cartons: milk, juice, soup (spouts can remain; lids belong in the garbage)
  • Shredded office paper (must be in paper bag)

There are items to keep out of your recycling container, like paper coffee cups and frozen and refrigerated food boxes. Read Metro’s article about paper and what to keep out.

Reminder: Pizza delivery boxes belong in the green Portland Composts! roll cart because the cardboard may contain grease and oil.

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

Choices abound for kitchen compost containers

Find a kitchen compost container that works for you.

Whether you are new to food scrap collection, are in a new home, or just need a new system, find a kitchen compost container that works for you.

The key is to choose a size and location that make it easy to use, to empty (into the green composting roll cart), and to keep clean. Remember, you can line the container with newspapers, a paper bag or approved compostable bags*. Timber Joey holding compost container options

Fewer scraps? A kitchen bowl or a yogurt container might be right for you. Cook from scratch? Lots of scraps? Try reusing something larger like an old kitty litter bucket to collect your food scraps. Store it under the kitchen sink or next to the garbage can.

Look for something that fits your space and style. Metro sells a two-gallon kitchen composter for $8. Options abound in the housewares department of many local stores.

Show us your favorite container by adding the hashtag #INCLUDETHEFOOD on Twitter or Facebook.

View how-to videos on food scrap collection, lining your container, keeping your more composting container optionscontainers clean, or read even more information on composting

*Look for these approved products:

  • BioBag -- "Certified Compostable"
  • EcNow Tech -- "Compost Me"
  • EcoSafe -- "6400 Line"
  • Glad -- "Compostable Kitchen"
  • Natur-Tec -- "Natur-Bag Compostable"

Note: These approved compostable bags are designed to break down quickly and safely at composting facilities. Other compostable bags and regular plastic bags are NOT allowed.

Working together for a smooth collection day

Garbage, recycling and composting drivers work hard every day to collect materials from all over Portland.

Garbage, recycling and composting drivers work hard every day to collect materials from all over Portland.
When setting out your roll carts, be mindful of their placement and location.

If space allows, this is the best way to place your roll carts: Proper way to set out garbage and recycling carts

1. Place carts away from obstacles like trees, cars, mailboxes, poles and basketball hoops.
2. Face the cart handle toward your home.
3. Place carts within 3 feet of the curb (required).
4. Leave up to 3 feet between carts to allow the truck's mechanical arm to operate more freely.

We understand that space is limited for some customers. Your efforts to place carts using these guidelines whenever possible are appreciated!

Don't forget to put away your roll carts after collection.