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Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Recycle with Confidence

Here’s how to avoid common recycling blunders.

Find out what goes where in the Be Cart Smart Guide

More isn’t always better
Not everything goes into the blue recycling roll cart. Rest assured you are doing the right thing when you put items that are on the NO list into the garbage.

Why are some items accepted in the blue roll cart while others are not? The items on the YES list can be sorted, sold, and turned into new materials in a cost-effective way.

Free yourself from recycling number confusion
Do you search for the symbol and number on the bottom to decide if you should recycle an item? Give your eyes a break! Ignore the numbers; they indicate plastic resin type for manufacturers, not recyclability. Portland’s recycling facilities sort containers based on size and shape.

Leave out the take-out items
To-go containers are not accepted in the blue roll cart. This includes paper and plastic cups, food containers and wrappers, cutlery, and straws. Putting take-out items in the recycling slows down the sorting process, adding cost.Find out what goes where in the Be Cart Smart Guide

No plastic bags, please
Plastic bags are on the NO list because they get caught in machinery at the sorting facilities, causing major mechanical slow-downs. Instead, return them to participating retailers. Follow the list and relax.

Preparation reminders

  • 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.

Need a recycling refresher? Find our Be Cart Smart guide online or download it in one of 12 languages.

Can the heartbreak of wasting summer fruits and vegetables

Food preservation author Marisa McLellan talks about the benefits of small-batch canning to reduce food waste at home.

Picture of a woman with fruits, vegetables, and canned goods.

Avoiding food waste is one of the most important actions residents can take to prevent climate change. Through prevention, donation and recovery, Portlanders sent 22 percent less food to the landfill in 2016 than in 2009*.

There are so many ways to reduce food waste!

We talked to food preservation expert Marisa McLellan of www.foodinjars.com to learn about the benefits of small-batch canning to reduce food waste.

You say you grew up in Portland. What kind of lessons did you learn about our mantra of “reduce-reuse-recycle”?

I grew up with Portland's environmental message bred into my bones. I remember helping sort our recycling from an early age and I joined my middle school's Green Club on the first day of 6th grade.

How did you learn canning?

I grew up helping my mom make jam with blueberries and blackberries picked on Sauvie Island and the windfall apples from our neighbor's trees. So, canning is something I always knew how to do. I didn't start to learn the deep science of food preservation until I started the blog, though. Once I started writing, people began asking me questions, and I quickly discovered how little I understood. I immediately started doing my research, so that I could answer questions from a place of knowledge, rather than folklore.

How did you come up with the idea for small-batch canning recipes?

When I first started canning, I followed the conventionally sized recipes. I didn't know that you could do it any other way. However, I quickly found that I was making far more than I needed and my limited storage space was overflowing. So, I did a little research into culinary ratios and started cutting down my batch sizes.

I discovered that small batches had much to offer. They were quick to make, they were more affordable, they didn't overwhelm my storage space, and helped me reduce the amount of food I wasted on a regular basis. I feel like everyone wins when home cooks preserve on a small scale.

Was there a moment that made you realize that small-batch canning helps reduce food waste?

I started thinking about canning as a waste prevention tool when friends would tell me that they subscribed to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share and were finding themselves throwing as much as half their share away because they just couldn't eat it all up before it started to spoil. It dawned on me that small-batch canning was a way to buy some time for that produce. I started talking people through some basic preservation skills. Each time, I heard back that it made a difference in how they thought about their share and helped them send less food to the compost.

How do you use small-batch canning to reduce food waste in your life?

Whenever I find myself with more produce than I can eat each week, I pull everything out and start to triage. Anything that can keep on its own goes back in the crisper (things like potatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower). Then, I divide things up into four categories—jam, pickles, pesto, spreads—and roll my sleeves up to get started.

Rapidly softening fruit gets prepped (this includes removing soft spots, peeling, coring, pitting, and chopping) and combined with some sugar or honey to soften for a while. Cucumbers will get a quick vinegar pickle treatment, other vegetables like green beans will be submerged in a salt brine with garlic cloves and dill seed to ferment. Tender greens like arugula and spinach get combined with soft herbs and whirred into pesto (pack into small jars, top with olive oil, and freeze for up to a year).

“…I can transform a fridge full of produce in just a couple of hours…I get more value from my food budget, I eat better throughout the week, and I throw away less.” -- Marisa McClellan

Canning sounds intimidating. How do you make it less scary?

The very best way to let go of any fears surrounding canning is to take a class (whether in person or by video), or to find an experienced friend and get them to can with you. Some of the best starter recipes include blueberry jam (it almost always sets up), pickled green beans (they stay crisp better than cucumbers), and applesauce (because apples are high in acid and sugar, you don't have to add anything to applesauce to make it safe for the boiling water bath canner).

Gather the basic tools, including a wide-mouth funnel, jar lifter, and canning rack. (These items are available for borrowing at kitchen share libraries around Portland.)

Visit www.savethefood.com for even more food waste prevention tips.

*According to the latest data available from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

PSC News: June 26, 2018 Meeting Information

Neighborhood Contact — Briefing; Residential Infill Project — Work Session

Agenda

  • Neighborhood Contact — Briefing
  • Residential Infill Project — Work Session

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

It’s official! Portland has a new long-range plan for the Central City

The CC2035 Plan establishes a new generation of goals and tools to ensure the city center becomes an even more thriving economic, cultural, educational and recreational hub for the region over the next 20+ years.

Yesterday afternoon (June 6), the Portland City Council voted three to one to adopt the Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035), with Saltzman absent and Fritz dissenting. 

The new long-range plan for growth and development builds on the City’s good planning over the years. Council also voted to adopt ordinances for the RiverPlace area, environmental and scenic resources, as well as the green loop and action plans to implement the plan. The new plan becomes effective on July 9, 2018.

“What this plan does differently,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler, “is that it sets the stage for more affordable housing, increased resilience in the face of climate change, more and better jobs through a synergistic mix of old and new industry in the central eastside, better protection of our iconic scenic views and deeper focus on our greatest natural feature – the Willamette River.”

Chief Planner Joe Zehnder emphasized, “The success of the Central City is vital to the success of all of Portland. We must meet our goals to be a prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient city – not just downtown – but citywide. We cannot do one without the other.”

While comprising only 3 percent of the city’s land, roughly 30 percent of the city’s residential growth will occur in the Central City by 2035. CC2035 will ensure the Central City helps meet our housing needs. The area already has the region’s greatest concentration of affordable housing units. And with inclusionary zoning in place, a significant share of this residential growth will be affordable for low-income households.

CC2035 will also ensure that the Central City becomes even more of an employment and educational hub for households all over the city. 

Portland has a long tradition of visionary planning for the Central City. Previous plans resulted in the transformation of Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park, a parking garage into Pioneer Courthouse Square, and brownfields into The Pearl District and South Waterfront.

Commissioners reflect on the Plan

Commissioner Fish acknowledged that creating big plans like CC2035 involves difficult choices and tradeoffs. He praised the environmental components of the plan but said that he continues “to feel a certain amount of regret that this extraordinary process ended on a sour note with a decision about Old Town/Chinatown.” He pledged that in the future he would “be vigilant to ensure that there will be no adverse impact on Lan Su Chinese Garden” and called on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to revisit the issue when the bureau updates its Central City Fundamental Design Guidelines.

Commissioner Eudaly joked that “this has been a crash course in planning, and I’ll be applying for college credits.” She thanked staff and community members for helping her get up to speed. “I think we as a body share the same goals and values as the community. We don’t necessarily agree how to get there, but I think this is a reasonable road map.”

Then she said, “When I would get bogged down in the details, I tried to think 100 years from now. Our fingerprints are going to be all over the city. I can only strive to make choices that are beneficial to Portlanders a century from now.”

Commissioner Fritz thanked the staff, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, the Design and Historic Landmarks commissions, other City staff, the many advisory committees and community members who participated in the planning process over the years. She identified some highlights of the plan: It would increase housing supply by 2,000 units (above the 37,000 additional units already allowed) and allow density transfers from open space to developable properties.  

But ultimately, Commissioner Fritz could not vote to adopt the Plan because of last-minute amendments to increase height in New Chinatown/Japantown. Of Council’s decision to increase height in the historic district and potential shading of Lan Su Chinese Gardens, Fritz said, “This isn’t about garden visitors enjoying the afternoon sun. It’s about the rare/endangered species of plants and fish in the koi pond.”

Mayor Wheeler praised BPS staff for their understanding of the issues, creativity, and research and analytical skills that allowed City Council to find the best solutions to address the issues. “But, most importantly, their ability to work through those issues with the public, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, and City Council,” he said. “You (BPS) spent a lot of time with stakeholders to make sure CC2035 embodies the best thinking and planning Portlanders have to offer.”

He recognized that some Council decisions were controversial and that Lan Su dominated the final conversations. He pointed out that, “few knew when we started the plan that properties next to the garden could be 425 feet tall. We are reducing that height by more than half. … I care deeply about the Lan Su Garden. This is an important asset to all of us. And I second my colleagues’ comments about vigilance in the future to protect it.”

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