By: Mireaya Medina, Community Outreach Coordinator
Portland neighborhoods are no stranger to litter and we can all attest to what an eyesore misplaced garbage can be. Inappropriate disposal is also detrimental to the environment. Almost 20 percent of litter disposed around business districts never makes it into trash cans. The City of Portland ‘s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) maintains approximately 600 public trash cans and contracts in 7 business areas including the downtown, Hollywood, Lloyd, Martin Luther King Blvd, NW 21st/23rd, Sellwood, and St. Johns.
Last year, the public trash program expanded through a City Council approved increase to the solid waste commercial tonnage fee. The additional revenue collected from the increase fees and an anticipated increase in FY19-20, will add public garbage collection to the remaining 24 business districts designated in the new Comprehensive Plan as Regional Centers, Town Centers, and Neighborhood Centers.
According to BPS’s FY16-17 budget documents, service would expand to approximately five new areas a year over a five year period and include roughly 825 additional garbage cans. In determining the order they will roll out new service, BPS notes that they will prioritize areas that have been historically underserved by City-provided services or have a higher concentration of minority-owned businesses. The following graphic from the 2035 Comprehensive Plan points to what this prioritization might look like.
The first new center to receive service was the Jade District. The Jade Trash Can Program was introduced to the public in a festive launch that featured waste reciprocals with art inspired by the Jade District Vision Plan and created by Hamilton Rodriguez, a neighborhood artist. The Jade District is known for its diverse residents, businesses and organizations. An outcome of the plan was to keep the neighborhood litter free.
The opening event, held at the start of summer also served as a litter pickup and storytelling event at the JAMS space (Jade/APANO Multicultural Space) with community partners like BPS and Solve.
The next location of the Public Trash Can Program is in the Division Midway area .
Portland residents can also get involved with:
Community Collection Events through Keep It Pretty Rose City, a project of the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), that empowers neighbors to enhance their communities using environmental education, toolkits and other resources.
SOLVE is a non-profit organization that brings together individuals, business groups, and service and conservation groups through volunteering and education to restore natural spaces and focus on beaches and illegal dump cleanup, planting native trees, removing invasive plants, and other environmental maintenance projects.
Metro Find a Recycler: For easy options to recycle, donate or reuse anything from batteries and packing peanuts to that old dishwasher, search the directory or call 503-234-3000.