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About the Public Trash Can Program

The City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability maintains the collection of over 1,000 public trash cans in the Hollywood, Lloyd, Jade, Northwest, Pearl, Hollywood, Alberta, and Downtown business districts. 

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.  

New public trash cans will be added in Southeast, Northeast, North, Southwest, South, Downtown, and Northwest Portland through 2023. 

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.


Quintin Bauer

Public Trash Collection Program Manager