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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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Program History

1928 sewer construction 1928 demo of buildings on front ave


The City of Portland begins regulating construction and demolition (C&D) debris. The ordinance and associated administrative rules required projects with a value of $25,000 or greater to recycle a minimum of 50 percent of construction debris generated at the job site, and mandated the recycling of five primary materials including metal, cardboard, wood, land-clearing debris, and rubble (concrete/brick).

Since 1995, projects meeting the $25,000 threshold, and later $50,000 threshold, have been required to fill out a Pre-Construction Recycling Plan Form, which explains the C&D requirements, and requests information on waste materials generated and the method of collection or if it was reused at the site.


The $25,000 threshold is increased to $50,000. The rationale at the time was that projects valued between $25,000 and $50,000 did not generate substantial amounts of recyclables.


A resolution is adopted and Portland City Council directs the then Office of Sustainable Development (now Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) to develop a plan that would achieve, among other things, increasing recovery of all waste with a target of 75 percent by the year 2015.

Portland Recycles Plan


Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopts resolutions directing staff to design a strategy to reduce local carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. This results in the 2009 Climate Action Plan.The Portland Recycles! Plan recommends increasing the recycling requirement for C&D materials from 50 percent to 75 percent.


Mandatory 75 percent recycling rate is adopted for C&D materials.


Metro makes changes in the processing and disposal of mixed dry waste, primarily construction and demolition debris. The Enhanced Dry Waste Recovery Program (EDWRP) requires that all mixed dry waste generated in the metro region is delivered to a material recovery facility, ensuring that recyclable materials such as wood, cardboard and metal are first removed from mixed loads before disposal.

Climate Action Plan

The Climate Action Plan is released, establishing a set of objectives to achieve an interim goal of a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. The Plan calls for technical assistance to contractors, and construction firms to meet Portland’s C&D recycling requirement of 75 percent, giving priority to salvage and reuse activities.

The City of Portland updates its Green Building Policy for City-owned facilities, requiring recycling of at least 85 percent of all construction, remodeling and demolition waste for new construction and major renovations.


The City’s new online resource for C&D material management is launched at City staff will spend more time in the field ensuring that requirements are being met and answering any contractors questions.