Residential Garbage and Recycling Rate Review

Garbage, recycling, and compost bins are shown set at the curb in front of a residential house in NE Portland.
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2024 rate review

Between January and May 2024, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will review the cost of providing waste collection services and calculate possible rate changes that would take effect on July 1, 2024.

If you have questions or comments about the 2024 rate-setting process, please contact us.

What your bill pays for 

An outline of a garbage bin is shown with the breakdown of what garbage bills go to: 41% for collecting waste, 23% for disposing and processing waste, 19% for garbage company administration, 9% for garbage company profit, and 8% for City administration.

41% pays for collection of garbage, recycling, and compost. This includes the costs to pick up garbage, recycling, and compost, including salary and benefits for truck drivers, vehicles, fuel, carts, and other collection equipment. 

23% pays for garbage disposal and processing of recycling and compost. This includes fees paid to transfer and dump garbage at the landfill (these fees are set in part by our regional government, Metro), to process yard waste and food scraps at a commercial compost facility, and to sort your recycling at a Material Recovery Facility. 

19% pays for Garbage and Recycling Companies’ administrative costs. This includes salary and benefits for administrative staff, plus billing, office space, utilities, and other overhead costs. 

9% pays for Garbage and Recycling Companies’ profit. The rate is set so that the system-wide fees allow for an overall targeted profit margin. Individual companies are not guaranteed a profit unless they continue to provide service for a competitive cost. 

8% pays for City of Portland administrative costs. This covers the cost to oversee and regulate the waste collection system; to implement recycling, waste reduction, and sustainability programs in accordance with state and regional requirements and City goals; and to help pay for collection of garbage from public trash cans

How rates are set

Every year the City of Portland sets residential garbage, recycling, and compost collection rates based on a thorough evaluation of what it costs to provide these services.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability conducts a rate review to establish fair and equitable rates for franchised garbage and recycling companies to charge for collection of residential garbage, recycling, and compost. The rate review is required by City ordinance and includes analysis by an economist and an independent Certified Professional Accountant (CPA). To determine the cost of providing service, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability evaluates multiple factors, including labor, equipment and fuel costs, the average weight of garbage in each can size, disposal charges for solid waste and compostables, and the market value and cost to sort recyclables. The City’s franchise agreement ordinance for garbage and recycling service requires rates to recover actual costs plus the City’s franchise fee and the targeted operating (profit) margin. 

The proposed rates are reviewed by the Planning and Sustainability Commission at a public hearing. Finally, the rates are presented to City Council for review and adoption.

See current rates