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Garbage – what goes in the bin

What you can – and can’t – put in your garbage can.
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A black garbage roll cart shown next to paper and plastic to-go drink cups, paper and plastic take-out food containers, plastic berry container with hinged lid, plastic grocery bag, dog food bag, potato chip bag, juice packet with straw, ice-cream container with lid, frozen food cardboard box and plastic tray, paper plate covered with ketchup.


Coffee cups and lids, paper plates, take-out food wrappers and containers, drink cups and straws, utensils (paper, plastic and “compostable” items), frozen food packaging and microwave meal boxes and trays, plastic “clamshells”, plastic caps and lids, plastic bags and film wrappers, facial tissue, painted or stained wood, plywood, incandescent and LED light bulbs, garden hoses, extension cords, snow tire chains and holiday lights.


These items do not belong in the garbage: Batteries, computers, monitors, TVs, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), hazardous waste, and chemicals cannot go in your garbage. Look up drop-off locations or call 503-234-3000.

A black garbage roll cart shown next to kitty litter in a plastic bag with top tied shut, dirty diapers, broken glass, styrofoam peanuts, two plastic bottles filled with oil with lids screwed on.

Requires special preparation

Broken glass, diapers, cat litter, feminine hygiene products, ashes, sawdust, and packaging peanuts must be bagged before placing in the garbage container.

Cooking oil, kitchen fats and grease must be sealed in a plastic bag or other container before placing in the garbage.

Large or bulky items

Homeowners (houses and smallplexes only): Ask your garbage company if they can pick it up and what the cost is (extra fees may apply).

Renters and businesses: Talk to the landlord or property manager if you need to set out large items or extra garbage.

Not sure if something is garbage?

Look it up or call 503-234-3000: They’ll tell you if it goes in garbage, recycling or compost, or where to drop it off for donation or proper disposal.

Printable guides

Print a residential recycling guide

Print a business recycling guide

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