Learn how to set up garbage service for your home or smallplex (2-4 units).
Establishing new service
To establish or change your collection service, call your garbage and recycling company directly.
Renters must be provided garbage, recycling, and compost service. Property owners are responsible for setting up and paying for service for their tenants.
Container size and collection frequency determine cost
There are different levels of service based on garbage container size. You can increase or decrease the size of your garbage container to fit your household’s needs. Call your garbage and recycling company to make changes to your service level. Garbage roll carts come in 20-gallon, 35-gallon, 60-gallon and 90-gallon sizes and are provided by your garbage and recycling company. Weekly composting and recycling are available with standard service.
For comparison, standard recycling and composting roll carts are the 60-gallon size.
Customer-provided garbage cans are not allowed, except for existing customers who currently provide their own 20-gallon or 32-gallon garbage container. However, we encourage those customers to switch to a 20-gallon or 35-gallon roll cart provided by their garbage company, as roll carts are safer and easier for garbage company staff to empty.
Low-income households with health condition related waste
Low-income households with excess health condition related garbage, such as adult incontinence supplies, are eligible for extra garbage capacity at no additional cost. See Request an extra capacity waste container.
How to set-out your roll carts
Containers out by 6 a.m.
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 route schedules change, be sure containers are out by 6 a.m. Remove emptied containers from the curb within 24 hours of collection.
Place your container within three feet of the curb or roadway. Don't block sidewalks or driveways.
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.
Non-curbside service for disabled customers
Non-curbside collection of all garbage, recycling, and composting carts is available at no charge for disabled customers meeting eligibility criteria. See Request non-curbside trash and recycling for disabled customers.
If you forgot to place your container at the curb by 6 a.m., and the driver was not able to pick up your garbage, recycling or composting roll carts, you have two options:
- Call your company and pay $9.70 for the driver to return before the end of the week.
- Set out two containers (not to exceed double your normal service level) on your next pickup day at no additional charge.
If your garbage and recycling company misses your house on your pickup day, customers must contact their company within 48 hours of the missed collection. The company must remedy the missed collection within 24 hours of it being reported.
If you do not call your garbage and recycling company's office within 48 hours, this option will not be available to you.
Christmas and New Year’s Day are the only two 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.
During severe weather conditions, driving may be hazardous and the collection of garbage, recycling and composting may be delayed for Portland residents. In the case of severe weather, collection will be prioritized in the following order:
Leave your carts at the curb and your garbage and recycling company will collect them as soon as driving conditions permit.
When garbage, recycling, or compost collection must be delayed due to severe weather, a reasonable effort will be made to pick up before the customer’s next scheduled collection day. Evening and Saturday collections may be necessary.
Your company will make every effort to remedy all weather-related misses in a timely manner. Be aware that while your street may be clear, access to your neighborhood may not. After the severe weather event, drivers may need to deviate from their regular scheduled routes to make up weather misses that may impact your collection. We appreciate your patience during this time.
If garbage, recycling or compost collection must be delayed to the next scheduled collection day, twice the amount of the current subscribed service level will be collected on the net regularly scheduled collection day at no additional charge.
Your company will carefully monitor the weather and plan their recovery process as conditions allow. No credits or refunds for delayed collections due to severe weather or issues beyond their control.
Print curbside recycling guides
Requirements for landlords
Through City of Portland Title 29, property owners of residential rentals of four or fewer units (single-family, duplex, triplex, fourplex) have legal requirements for Residential Service. The City offers free educational materials and on-site assistance for rental properties to help property owners meet these requirements.
Information on materials
Free materials are available for all rental property owners to order for their tenants. The City will either mail or hand-deliver the materials to the rental property.
Curbside collection service requirements and rates
Curbside collection service for households with four or fewer units is provided by garbage and recycling companies in franchised areas. The City oversees these companies and sets rates and service options. Your garbage bill comes directly from the company that services your rental property.
Property owners of residential rentals of houses and smallplexes (2-4 units) through City of Portland Title 29 Code are required to:
- Contact the garbage and recycling company that services your property to set up service in the property owner’s name. (Service cannot be set up by or billed to the tenant. The bill can be sent to a property management company).
- Directly pay the garbage and recycling company for services provided.
- Provide at least the minimum required service level of 20 gallons of garbage capacity per unit
Under Title 29 the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability considers landlords and garbage and recycling companies in compliance as long as the bill is in the landlord’s name and is sent to the landlord, or property manager for payment. All issues related to how, or if, landlords charge tenants for provision of services are outside of BPS authority. Title 29 neither requires nor prohibits landlords from recouping these costs from tenants. For landlord-tenant assistance contact Community Alliance of Tenants at 503-288-0130.
Minimum service level requirements and recommendations
Property owners who fail to provide adequate service can be subject to enforcement actions, including fines.
Green roll cart for food scraps and yard debris - weekly pickup
- One green composting roll cart for single family homes, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes.
Blue roll cart for recycling - weekly pickup
- One blue recycling roll cart for single family homes and duplexes.
- At least two blue recycling roll carts for triplexes and fourplexes.
Yellow bin for glass only - weekly pickup
- One yellow glass only bin or other rigid container with a glass-only sticker.
Garbage - every-other-week pickup
- The minimum requirement is 20 gallons per unit.
- Property owners can choose the size and number of garbage containers for each property.