The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) administers the public trash can program that currently provides trash receptacles and contracts for collection service in downtown Portland and a small number of other business districts in the city. This program was started by the Bureau of Maintenance in 1977, and was transferred to the BPS 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, the Portland City Council adopted an increase to the solid waste commercial tonnage for the expansion of the public trash program. The expansion will add trash cans, and collection thereof, into regional, town and neighborhood centers as delineated in the 2035 City of Portland Comprehensive Plan.
In June of 2017, Portland’s Jade District was the first to receive new trash receptacles. The district is serving as a pilot project to evaluate the performance of a new can design, graphics, and can placement for the duration of the summer 2017. Upon completion of the pilot, the expansion will continue into other areas of East Portland. It is estimated that the program will expand into all 31 city centers over the next 5 years. BPS also has taken over collection responsibilities for public cans in some districts that had been independently running their own programs with their own cans for several years.