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Local leaders unveil new public trash cans for Portland’s Jade District

Many of our neighborhoods are experiencing change — some of which is clearly positive and exciting, and some of which is challenging. The Jade District is literally and figuratively a crossroads for Portland, with 82nd Avenue the artery of our city that connects the east and the west. Like every neighborhood in Portland, one factor that faces the livability of neighborhoods is litter on the streets.

At a recent event, the City of Portland’s Public Trash Can Program celebrated a new pilot project with partners from the Jade District and SOLVE by organizing a litter cleanup activity and a storytelling session by BPS staffer Alfredo Gonzalez on the importance of waste management. After welcoming guests from the Jade District and the Mayor’s office, the new public trash cans were celebrated with a ceremonial toss of its first recyclable soda cans. Jade District Manager, Todd Struble, described the project as "public investments done right, by centering the community and relationships." The cans feature new art inspired by the Jade District Vision Plan and created by Hamilton Rodriguez, a neighborhood artist.

Jade District’s engaged residents and businesses made the pilot project happen

Centered at 82nd Avenue and SE Division, the Jade District is one of the most diverse districts both at a city and state level. The Jade District Vision Plan engaged residents and businesses in the area a few years back, including brainstorming sessions conducted in five different languages. One of the identified outcomes was a recommendation that some specific local businesses would benefit from public place garbage service.

The new cans are functional, and feature a safer design for workers who collect the trash. They also include a tray for returnable deposit cans and bottles that allows members of the public to remove those containers to be able to collect the deposit refund.

More about the City of Portland’s public trash can program

BPS administers the public trash can program that provides trash receptacles and contracts for collection service in downtown and six other business areas of the city. This program was started by the Bureau of Maintenance in 1977, and City Council directed the Solid Waste and Recycling Program to administer the program in 1998. BPS has maintained the collection of approximately 600 public trash cans within the initial program areas and collection is provided by commercial haulers selected through a competitive process.

In 2016, City Council adopted an increase to the solid waste commercial tonnage fee of $1.30 per ton for the expansion of the public trash program. The expansion of the program will add public trash cans and collection services to all of the regional, town and neighborhood centers as delineated in Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan). It will take an estimated five years to complete the expansion to cover all 31 Centers.