Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

Every-other-week garbage collection explained

In Portland, garbage is collected every other week at houses, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes. Recycling and compost are collected weekly. This has environmental and cost benefits.

Why is garbage picked up every week? 

The short answer is: To keep your garbage rates low and make composting easy. 

When Portland added food scraps to curbside compost collection in 2011, the City increased compost pickup to every week (from every other week) and decreased garbage pickup from weekly to every other week. 

This switch meant: 

  • No increase in garbage rates 
  • No increase in the number of trucks on the road 

30% of garbage is food 

Before switching to every-other-week garbage and weekly compost pickup, the City talked with other cities that have every-other-week garbage collection and then spent a year testing it out in several neighborhoods and studying the results.  

We found that when people put food waste (plate scrapings, spoiled food, trimmings) into the compost instead of their garbage, they had less garbage – about 30% less.  

Food in landfills worsens climate change 

Composting food scraps is an important part of reaching our climate goals. When food goes to a landfill, it creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas that worsens climate change.  

In contrast, when food is composted, it creates nutrient-rich fertilizer, which farmers can use in place of conventional fossil fuel-based fertilizers. 

Portlanders have been doing a great job composting food scraps: From 2011 to 2021, almost 800,000 tons of food and yard waste were collected from Portland homes and transformed into nutrient-rich compost. That’s enough to enrich over 1,500 acres of farmland.

Need a bigger garbage bin? You’ve got options. 

If you’ve got more garbage than can fit in your bin, you can move to a bigger size: Garbage bins are available in 20, 35, 60, and 95 gallon sizes. See the current monthly rates and contact your garbage company to make the change. 

If you have extra garbage occasionally, you can set out an extra bag for a small fee