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Community Waste Collection Events

Miscellaneous large items on the ground, including two chairs, a table, and picture frames.
Events and efforts to support collection of household items that aren’t easily disposed of through regular garbage and recycling service, such as mattresses, furniture, rugs, appliances, electronics, or Styrofoam.
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Looking for information on litter & public trash? See Community cleanup resources

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is developing new opportunities for collection of household items that aren’t easily disposed of through regular garbage and recycling service. The following is an overview of current, in-progress, and future offerings: 

What to do with hard-to-dispose of items 

We are currently developing a guide to help Portland residents understand their options for getting rid of large household items and other hard-to-dispose of waste. This will include: 

  • Cost estimates of disposal options through your garbage and recycling company. 
  • Pickup options from other waste disposal companies. 
  • Drop-off (self-haul) options and prices through Metro Transfer Stations. 
  • Donation options (drop-off and pick-up). 
  • Reuse and repair resources. 

Need help now? Call 503-234-3000 or search Find A Recycler to learn how to safely dispose, recycle, or donate your items.

Community-led waste collection events 

For community groups or neighborhood associations interested in organizing collection events for hard-to-dispose of items, we can offer guidance, including template event plans and marketing materials. Contact Monica Kelly for assistance. 

Funding may be available for your event through Metro’s Regional Refresh Fund: review the funding guidelines.  

For disposal options, including dumpsters or drop boxes, contact a few of Portland’s permitted commercial garbage and recycling companies to compare costs and container options. Contact Monica Kelly for suggestions of recycling and reuse organizations who may be interesting in taking specific items for recycling (electronics, metal, Styrofoam, etc.) or reuse (furniture, bikes, tools, and more). 

Spring 2022: Funding available for community-specific events 

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has one-time funding available to support waste collection events prioritizing people and places that historically and currently have not had equitable access to resources. We will be partnering with organizations that support homeowners and residents with low incomes, who experience disabilities, or who identify as Black, Native American/Alaska Native, and other people of color.  

Collection efforts should focus on removing bulky materials that residents are not capable of moving, that have hindered home repair to keep homes comfortable, where multifamily spacing makes disposal options unclear, or to remove items that have been illegally dumped on their property.  

Contact Monica Kelly if you have a waste collection project idea that serves a prioritized community. The event could serve a neighborhood or a specific apartment building or other multifamily community (5 or more units). In order to receive funding, your waste collection event must be free for all participants. 

Future bulky waste collection service 

We are working on developing regularly occurring bulky waste collection for Portland residents, beginning with multifamily communities and lower-income households. 

This work is happening in close partnership with Metro and neighboring counties and cities as part of the 2030 Regional Waste Plan.  

History of Community Collection Events 

From 1998 to 2020, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, in partnership with Metro, offered funding and support to help neighborhood associations, community organizations, and nonprofits organize collection events for hard-to-dispose of household waste like furniture, mattresses, large appliances, and electronics. These events were originally called Neighborhood Cleanups and later renamed Community Collection Events. The events evolved to have a strong focus on recycling and reuse. Event organizers partnered with local recycling businesses and nonprofit organizations to salvage items otherwise destined for the landfill. 

During this time, any group of community members could apply for funding through the District Coalition where the event or project took place. This included neighborhood associations as well as youth, school-based, faith-based and/or culturally specific organizations.  

We thank the many passionate volunteers throughout Portland who made these community collection events a success.