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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

More Contact Info

Ask the Curbside Hotline Operator: Can I recycle coffee cups in my curbside bin?

Coffee cup with lid

Q: Can I recycle coffee cups in my curbside bin?

A: No, paper coffee cups don’t belong in either the blue recycling roll cart or the green compost roll cart. They do belong in the garbage container.

Coffee cups are made up of paper that is injected with a plastic film so the cup holds its shape with hot (or cold) beverages. Paper cups are not recyclable because of the plastic liner and coffee contamination and don’t break down at the recycling facility with other paper products.

The same is true for paper products that hold freezer or refrigerated foods. Items like butter boxes, ice cream containers and frozen dinner boxes also belong in the garbage.

Choose to reuse
Travel mugCeramic mugYou can choose to bring your own coffee mug or container to your favorite shop. Some shops offer a small discount for doing so. There’s even a campaign about it called BYOC: Bring Your Own Cup!

Interested in learning more about the Bring Your Own Cup campaign?
The nonprofit Recycling Advocates is focusing on reducing the number of disposable, single use coffee cups going into area landfills.

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