COVID-19 Freeze for Multnomah County

The four-week (minimum) freeze is in effect through December 16th.

Containers in the Right of Way (CROW)

Garbage, recycling and food waste containers are not allowed to be stored on public sidewalks or streets.

Blue recycling carts and a dumpster on the sidewalk

In 2008 the City Council adopted changes to City Code explicitly banning the storage of these containers in the public right of way and assigning enforcement responsibility to BPS. Administrative Rules specify the requirements and enforcement of these restrictions:

  • Containers currently placed in the right-of-way will be enforced by BPS with an emphasis on assistance to achieve compliance.
  • Businesses and waste hauling companies are prohibited from placing new containers in the right-of-way for permanent storage.
  • Business or property owners who are in violation of the prohibition but cannot comply without incurring an extreme economic hardship can apply for a limited term exemption to gain additional time to achieve compliance.
  • New commercial buildings and major alterations will be required to provide sufficient space for on-site collection and storage of garbage and recycling.   

Businesses with containers in the right-of-way should contact their waste hauling company or BPS to review service options.

Minimum storage space requirements

During the application for a permit allowing construction or major alteration of a commercial or mixed-use building, on-site storage space for garbage, recycling and food waste containers must be identified. Administrative Rules specify the minimum amount of square footage that must be designated for container storage, based on occupant load and building usage.

Other authorities may have additional requirements concerning container storage areas, e.g. Bureau of Environmental Services, Fire Marshal, etc.

Questions or public complaints

For other assistance and information, or to register a complaint about a container in the right-of-way, contact BPS. Call 503-823-7202 or email wasteinfo@portlandoregon.gov.

City of Portland Permitting Services (503-823-7357) provides information about permitting and other regulations affecting the construction of interior or exterior storage areas.