About the Public Trash Can Program

A black trash receptacle, decorated with Jade District logo and artwork of a bus and people on the street, located on a sidewalk in-front-of a business.
The City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability provides and manages public trash cans around Portland.

History of the program

The public trash can program was started by the City’s Bureau of Maintenance in 1977 and was transferred to Solid Waste and Recycling in 1998.

Program expansion

In 2016, the Portland City Council adopted an increase to the solid waste commercial tonnage for the expansion of the public trash program. The expansion will add trash cans and collection service into regional, town and neighborhood centers as delineated in the 2035 City of Portland Comprehensive Plan. 

In June of 2017, Portland’s Jade District was the first to receive new trash receptacles as part of a pilot project to evaluate the performance of a new can design, graphics and can placement. The program has since expanded into East Portland, with the addition of over 200 new trash cans.  

Between 2021 and 2023 the City will add over 700 new public trash cans throughout Portland. 

About the trash cans

The 65-gallon trash cans display art designed by local artists. They also include a side-bin for returnable deposit cans and bottles that allows members of the public to remove those containers to be able to collect the deposit refund.

The cans are 4.5-feet tall and take up a 3x3-foot space on the ground. In some cases, such as narrow sidewalks, a smaller 35-gallon can may be used. 

The cans are emptied on a regular schedule by waste haulers contracted by the City.

For more information related to public trash cans, visit the program home page.