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Recycling requirements for rental houses

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Two people walk their recycling bins to the curb. Behind them is a single-level duplex with brown paint and bright orange doors.
Garbage and recycling requirements for property owners, managers, and landlords of residential rentals including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes.
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For rentals with 5 or more units, see Multifamily Recycling Requirements

Requirements

Owners of a residential rental of four or fewer units (single-family, duplex, triplex, fourplex) are required by City Code 29.30.140 to:

1. Pay for garbage, recycling, and compost collection service

You must set up and pay for service. Bills must be in your name and sent to you, not the tenants.

Your rental property has an assigned garbage and recycling company and rates and service options are set by the City. 

2. Provide adequate waste collection service

Waste containers cannot be overflowing. The following are minimum requirements*, but your tenants may need a larger size or number of containers to meet their needs.

A single-family home, a duplex, a triplex, and a fourplex are shown with the size and quantity of waste bins listed in the text on this page as minimum requirements.
  • Garbage: At least one 20-gallon roll cart for a single-family house, 60-gallon roll cart for a duplex or triplex, and 90-gallon roll cart for a fourplex.
  • Recycling: At least one blue 60-gallon recycling roll cart for a single-family house or duplex and two blue roll carts for a triplex or fourplex.
  • Glass recycling: At least one yellow glass-only bin or rigid container with a “glass only” sticker.
  • Compost: At least one 60-gallon green compost roll cart for a single-family, duplex, triplex, or fourplex.

Contact your garbage company to set up service or make changes to existing service.

See bin sizes and collection costs

These requirements apply to any residential property not occupied by the owner, even in cases where:

  • The owner allows friends or family to live at the property without paying rent.
  • The owner lives in one unit of a multi-unit property (duplex, triplex, fourplex).

These requirements do not apply to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

City of Portland Title 29.30.140 neither requires nor prohibits landlords from recouping these costs from tenants. For landlord-tenant assistance contact Community Alliance of Tenants at 503-288-0130.

*The City requires a minimum of 20 gallons of garbage service per unit. The garbage cart sizes listed here are the least expensive option to meet that requirement. Using multiple smaller carts is also allowed, but will cost more. Larger containers (small dumpsters) are also available: See all available sizes and rates.

Penalties

Property owners who fail to meet these requirements can be fined $314 per month (for 1-2 unit properties) or $470 per month (for 3-4 unit properties), or more.**

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will send a warning letter to the property owner and if action is not taken within the given time, the Bureau of Development Services will enforce the requirement and charge fines. 

**Find the most up-to-date fines listed in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule section of the Bureau of Development Service's Fee Schedules.

Free recycling guides and signs

The City provides free materials to help your tenants recycle right.

A brochure labeled Be Cart Smart is shown unfolded, with images of items that are allowed in garbage, compost, and recycling. Also shown are rectangular stickers for the lid of a compost and recycling cart and a 12 by 18 inch sign that says Be Cart Smart and shows items allowed in garbage, recycling, and compost.
  • Brochure that shows what is and isn't allowed in each bin.
  • Stickers to replace worn labels on recycling and compost bin lids.
  • 12x18" Weatherproof sign to hang above bins outside (available only for properties with 3+ units).

Order free materials

Renters

If you live in a 2-4 plex and share containers, decide whose responsibility it is to set out and remove the containers from the curb on collection day.

Set your containers out by 6 a.m. and remove within 24 hours of pick up. Find more information about how to set out your bins and what to do with waste that won't fit in your bins.

Sign up for garbage day reminders to avoid missing a pickup.

Are you moving?

If you have items you no longer need, do not leave them in the yard, driveway, or on the curb. Contact Metro's Recycling Information Center or use Find A Recycler to find drop-off and pick-up options for recycling, garbage, and donation. 

Electronic waste such as computers, monitors and TVs cannot go in the garbage. They must be dropped off for proper disposal: Find free drop-off locations.

Hazardous waste such as paint, chemicals, cleaners should be taken to one of Metro’s Household Hazardous Waste Facilities.