Set up service
To set up or change your garbage, recycling, and compost collection service, call your garbage and recycling company directly. Your garbage company is assigned to you based on your neighborhood.
For rental properties, the property owner is responsible for setting up and paying for service for their tenants.
Cost is based on garbage bin size
Your monthly waste collection charge is based on the size of your garbage container. You can choose the size that best fits your needs.
Garbage roll carts come in 20-gallon, 35-gallon, 60-gallon and 90-gallon sizes. Here are approximately how many tall kitchen garbage bags will fit in each garbage bin:
- 20-gallon bin = 2 garbage bags
- 35-gallon bin = 3 garbage bags
- 60-gallon bin = 4 garbage bags
- 90-gallon bin = 5 garbage bags
Garbage is collected every other week. If your household has one bag of garbage per week, the smallest bin (20-gallon size) will work for you. If your household has more than 2 bags of garbage per week, you may need the largest bin (90-gallon size).
You can change your bin size at any time by contacting your garbage company.
Your garbage roll cart will be provided by your garbage and recycling company and is included in the cost of service. Customer-provided garbage cans are not allowed. Existing customers who provide their own garbage container will be switched to roll carts to decrease risk of injury to garbage collection staff.
Recycling and compost service
Weekly collection of recycling and compost is included in the cost of garbage service. Your garbage company will provide you with a 60-gallon blue recycling roll cart, a 60-gallon green compost roll cart, and a yellow rectangular bin for glass.
Smaller recycling and compost carts are available by request from your garbage company (this does not change the cost of service).
Extra service for low-income households with health-related waste
If members of your household use adult diapers or other incontinence supplies, and your household meets the income eligibility requirements, you can apply for additional garbage service at no cost. Increased garbage service means increasing your current garbage cart to one size larger or adding an additional 35-gallon garbage cart.
Health condition-related waste includes adult diapers and other incontinence supplies. (This does not include diapers used by children under the age of four, feminine hygiene products, or any waste that falls under the definition of “Infectious Waste.”)
Pickup service for customers with a disability
If it is difficult for you to transport your waste bins to the curb on collection day due to a health condition or disability, you can request that the waste collection driver pick up bins from your driveway or yard and return them after emptying.
How to set out your bins
Bins at the curb by 6 a.m.
Set out bins by 6 a.m. and remove them within 24 hours of pickup. Your garbage and recycling company will arrive at your house between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. to empty your garbage, recycling, and compost carts. Because collection route schedules can change, be sure containers are out by 6 a.m.
Place your container within three feet of the curb in either direction (towards the sidewalk or in the street backed up against the curb). Where there is no curb, place containers within three feet of the traveled roadway, including areas commonly used for on-street parking.
Don't block sidewalks, driveways, or bike lanes. Leave space between cars, trees, poles, and other bins.
Roll cart handles should face your home, not the street.
Lids should be closed.
If you live in a duplex, triplex, or fourplex that has signed up for non-curbside service, don't put roll carts on steps, decks, or patios that are more than three feet above ground level. Roll carts must be placed in an area where they can be accessed by the driver without going up or down stairs.
If you forgot to place your container at the curb by 6 a.m., and your bins were not emptied, you have two options:
- Call your company and pay around $10 (see current cost) for the driver to return before the end of the week.
- Call your company to let them know you missed your pickup and will be setting out extra garbage, recycling, and/or compost the following week. They will pick up the extras (not to exceed double your normal service level) on your next pick-up day at no additional charge.
If your bins were set at the curb by 6 a.m., and the garbage company did not empty one of your bins, contact your company within 48 hours of the missed collection. The company must remedy the missed collection within 24 hours of it being reported.
Christmas and New Year’s Day are the only holidays during the year when collection will not occur. When these holidays fall on a weekday, all collections will be pushed back one day following the holiday. Friday customers will be serviced on Saturday.
Waste collection delays may occur during severe weather conditions, such as snow, ice, high heat, or unsafe air quality due to wildfire smoke.
Leave your carts at the curb and your garbage and recycling company will collect them as soon as it is safe to do so.
In some cases, the delay in pick-up could be days. Collection may occur on Saturday. Garbage will be prioritized over recycling and yard waste. If collections must wait a week or longer, drivers are prepared to take the previous week's materials at no additional cost to you. No credits or refunds will be offered for missed collections due to inclement weather.
Can't fit it all in your bin?
Here's out to set out extra waste:
First, flatten boxes and cut cardboard into smaller pieces to fit as much as possible into your recycling bin. When your recycling bin is full (the lid should still be able to shut fully), then flatten all remaining cardboard, bundle it together, secure the bundle with tape, and lean the bundle against your blue bin.
There is no additional cost for extra cardboard. However, cardboard set outside of your bin can get blown by wind and create litter, and it slows down collection drivers, making it harder for them to collect everyone's recycling on time. So please only set cardboard outside of your bin when you have made every effort to fit it into your bin.
You can set out an extra bag or can of garbage on your garbage day for a fee (see current cost). Each bag or can has a limit of 32 gallons and 55 pounds.
You can set out extra leaves, branches, or other yard waste for a fee (see current cost). Set extras next to your green bin, prepared in any of these ways:
- Paper yard waste bag. To avoid the bottom getting wet and breaking open, do not put wet leaves or grass in the bottom of the bag, and keep the bag in a dry place until pickup day.
- Bundle of branches. Must be tied securely with string or twine. Do not use wire. Branches cannot exceed 36 inches in length and 4 inches in diameter.
- Can labeled with a sign or sticker that says "yard waste." Contact us to request stickers.
Each bag, bundle, or can has a limit of 32-gallons and 45 pounds.
Large branches or stumps
Branches longer than 36 inches in length and/or wider than 4 inches in diameter cannot go in your curbside compost bin. Your options for disposal are:
- Contact your garbage and recycling company to get a cost estimate for a special bulky waste pickup.
- Contact a Tree Care Provider for removal cost estimates.
- Find pick-up and drop-off options through Metro's Find A Recycler tool: type in your home address and search for "branches" or "stumps." Or call 503-234-3000 to speak with a recycling specialist (Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.).
For real trees, first remove all trimmings from your tree, including lights, ornaments, tinsel, and tree stand. Then, you have two options:
- Cut the tree into 3-foot or shorter sections and place in your green compost roll cart. Make sure the lid closes.
- Set the entire tree (6-feet max height) next to your green compost roll cart for a fee (see current cost).
Artificial and flocked trees are considered garbage. To set out a whole artificial or flocked tree, call your garbage company to ask for a cost estimate and pickup date.
Extra recycling can be set out in a cardboard box or a paper bag (please write "recycling" on the bag). There is no charge for extra recycling.
You can set out any type of rigid plastic container filled with glass bottles and jars, for no additional charge. A 5-gallon bucket works well, with a few holes drilled in the bottom to let rain through. Contact us to request “glass” stickers.
Large, bulky waste
Contact your garbage company to get a cost estimate and pick-up date for appliances, furniture, large branches, stumps, and other big items that are too large to fit in your garbage bin. Call at least a week in advance of when you need the item picked up. Do not set items out on the curb until the scheduled day.
Renters: Talk with your landlord about setting out extra items with fees, since they receive the bill.
Recycling guides and stickers
Print recycling guides
These guides show what items are allowed in your garbage, recycling, glass, and compost bins. Attach them to your refrigerator, tape them to the inside of a kitchen cupboard door, or post in your garage near your bins.
Or contact us and we'll mail you a printed guide.
Your garbage, recycling, and compost bins should have labels on the lid that show what items are allowed in that bin. If any of your bins' labels have become too faded or worn to easily read, contact us to request new stickers to place over the old labels.