Get ready for Recycling Roll Carts

New recycling roll carts are coming to Portland neighborhoods between May and July. The heart of the new system is replacing the two yellow recycling bins currently used with a single roll cart. All material currently placed in the yellow bins can be combined in the roll cart, except glass. A lid keeps recyclables dry and sturdy wheels make the cart easy to set out. The carts also are easier and safer for trash haulers to collect, since mechanized trucks can tip the carts into the truck. Glass should be placed in one of the remaining yellow bins.

Last August the Portland City Council adopted the residential portion of the Portland Recycles! Plan which includes changes that will help people recycle more by making it easier and more convenient.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Between May and July, you’ll receive your new roll carts (one for recycling, one for yard debris) and an information packet.
  • Everything you currently recycle – paper, cans, cardboard, scrap metal, plastic containers – can be mixed together in the recycling roll cart, except glass.
  • Glass bottles and jars still need to be kept ON THE SIDE! You’ll be able to use one of your old yellow bins, or any rigid container, for your glass.
  • You’ll be able to recycle some plastics at the curb that you haven’t previously been able to: yogurt-type tubs, plastic buckets and rigid plant pots. (Sorry, plastic lids and plastic bags still are not allowed; these cause problems for the recycling processors.)
  • The large roll cart has a lid to keep your recyclables dry – you may find you only need to set your cart out for collection every other week.

In July, your garbage bill will go up by about $2.60 a month to help pay for the new carts, double the yard debris volume and greatly expand plastics recycling.

Elements of the Portland Recycles! Plan

Faced with a growing waste stream, a stalled recycling rate and concerns about energy use and global warming, the Portland City Council set the following goals for Portland’s waste and recycling system:

  • Zero growth in the waste stream.
  • Increase the recycling rate to 75 percent by 2015.
  • Make the whole system more sustainable.
  • Reduce toxics and greenhouse gases.

The Office of Sustainable Development, working closely with citizens, recycling advocates and solid waste industry representatives, created the Portland Recycles! Plan. New roll carts for recycling and yard debris, and the addition of more plastics, are included in the first phase of the Plan. The Plan also calls for using 20 percent biodiesel fuel in collection vehicles and installing diesel filters to reduce pollution.

Learn more about the Portland Recycles! Plan: