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Autumn compost tips: leaves, pumpkins and more

News article

Fallen leaves and rotting jack-o-lanterns belong in the green bin.


Pumpkins, gourds, and more

When your pumpkins are past their prime, they can go in your green Portland Composts! roll cart, along with fallen tree fruit, weeds, leaves, vines, grass, flowers, plant clippings and small branches (less than 4 inches thick and 36 inches long). Large branches that may fall down during storms or stumps that are too big for your curbside container can be collected by your garbage and recycling company with advance notice (and extra fees) or taken to a recycling depot.

This is also the time of year to include seasonal food scraps like apple and pear cores and leftover or half-eaten candy (wrappers belong in the garbage).


From early November to mid-December, removing leaves from streets is critical: Leaves clog storm drains, flood intersections and make streets slippery.

Blue and green bins, and a paper leaf bag on the curb
Set out an extra 32-gallon can, kraft paper leaf bag or bundle of yard debris for a $3.75 fee.

In Portland, the Leaf Day Districts and Schedule show residents where the highest concentration of mature street trees and leaves are located. The service covers 52 districts which is about one third of the city. These streets require more equipment and crew-power to clean and maintain. 

Can't fit all the leaves in your cart? Set out an extra 32-gallon can, kraft paper leaf bag or bundle of yard debris for a $3.75 fee.

And be careful not to overload your cart with heavy pumpkins and wet leaves. The 60-gallon green compost roll carts have a 135-pound limit.