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Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

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

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BPS News: Celebrate a low-waste year with these green holiday ideas


December 4, 2012


Jocelyn Boudreaux
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Office: 503-823-3660 Cell: 503-453-9410

Celebrate a low-waste year with these green holiday ideas

The City of Portland announces the one-year anniversary of curbside composting and shares holiday waste reduction tips

PORTLAND, Ore. – This holiday season marks the one-year anniversary of Portland’s new Curbside Collection Service. The new service includes the addition of food scraps along with yard debris to the green Portland Composts! roll cart, and the switch to every-other-week garbage pick-up. The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) has collected data on the new Curbside Collection Service over the past year and the results are impressive. 

One Year of Curbside Composting
BPS will present a full one-year report on the Curbside Collection Service to Portland City Council on December 5, 2012. Highlights from the report include:

  • Portland households are throwing away almost 40 percent less garbage.
  • The amount of yard debris plus food scraps collected for composting has nearly tripled.
  • Close to 80 percent of Portland households are including food scraps in their green composting roll cart.
  • Portlanders continue to be fantastic recyclers. Eighty-five percent of all recyclable materials are placed in the blue recycling roll cart.

“Portland residents have really stepped up to the plate with curbside composting and it shows in the 40 percent reduction in garbage,” said Mayor Sam Adams. “It’s an achievement that will inspire other cities and one we can feel really proud of.”

To view the full one-year anniversary Curbside Collection Service report, find helpful information on your collection schedule, sign up for weekly email collection reminders and more, visit

Low-Waste Holidays
With all the festive meals, activities and gifts that accompany the holiday season, now is a great time to learn even more ways to save space in your garbage container, reduce waste and make composting easy.

Include the Food!
Make composting simple and accessible:

  • Place recycling and kitchen compost containers in plain sight for guests. You can line the kitchen compost container with newspaper, a paper bag or an approved compostable liner to keep it tidy.
  • Keep your kitchen container handy during food preparation, while scraping plates after meals and when you clean the fridge of leftovers. Remember that all food can be included at the curb, even meat and bones.
  • Ask friends and family to bring their own food containers to take holiday meal leftovers.

Extra Holiday Garbage
After all the holiday entertaining and gift giving, your household may have extra garbage. You can set out an extra bag on your collection day for $5. Extra garbage must be 32 gallons or smaller and weigh 55 lbs. or less. Renters should arrange with landlords to authorize extra garbage collection.

Holiday Tree Composting
Trees up to six feet tall can be put out at the curb on your collection day for $4.50. You may put tree trunks and branches less than 36 inches long and four inches in diameter in your green Portland Composts! roll cart.

You can also arrange with a nonprofit organization to collect your tree. Call Metro’s recycling hotline at 503-234-3000 for drop-off or pick-up information.

Green Holiday Gift Giving
BPS’s Be Resourceful program provides eco-friendly holiday tips to help you Save More and Live More this holiday season. Visit for ideas of gifts of experience and resources for local crafts and holiday décor.


About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)
Through partnerships and collaboration, BPS develops innovative and practical solutions to create and enhance a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable city. The bureau provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. For more information, visit