Holiday Garbage and Recycling

As you clean up from the holidays, the City of Portland has information on how to recycle common holiday waste, what to do with your tree after the holidays and pickup delays due to the holidays. Starting with items that can go in the blue recycling bin, wrapping paper and gift bags made only of paper (no foil or glitter) and cardboard boxes are suitable for recycling. It’s ok to leave tape and labels on boxes. Flatten boxes and cut up large ones so they fit inside the bin.
Food—plate scrapings, cooking scraps and food that has spoiled or is moldy—can go in the compost bin. Additionally, holiday trees, wreaths and greenery that have had all decorations, lights and wire removed can be composted. Trees that are cut into pieces (three feet or shorter) can be placed in the compost bin at no extra charge. For those who prefer to set out the whole tree (six feet or shorter), it can be set next to the compost bin for a $5.25 charge. Fake or “flocked” trees go in the garbage; call your garbage hauler for a cost estimate to set out a whole tree.
Items that cannot be recycled or composted and need to go in the garbage include envelopes with plastic padding (even if the outside is paper); foil or glitter-covered wrapping paper and gift bags; bubble wrap, plastic “air pillows” and packing peanuts; plastic gift cards and any plastic not shaped like a bottle or round tub; and “tanglers”—string lights, ribbon, yarn and cords—that get tangled in the machines that sort recyclables and cause the whole process to shut down. Some of these items may be recyclable through other means like Ridwell; check their website for details.
If you have more trash than will fit in your bin, extra trash bags or cans (32 gallon and 55 lb maximum) can be set out for a $5.85 charge each. Call your garbage hauler for cost estimates for large, bulky items that don’t fit into the garbage bin (like furniture or mattresses). Items in good condition may be able to be donated (call 503.234.3000 for information) or offered free to neighbors via Nextdoor, a Buy Nothing Facebook group or Craigslist.
This year Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fall on Mondays, which means collection will be delayed by one day for all Portland customers. Friday customers will have their garbage day on Saturday. The city offers free garbage day reminders, available by email, text, phone call or app. Visit bit.ly/GarbageDayReminders to get signed up.
In the case of snow or ice, put your bins at the curb for your usual collection day and leave them there. Garbage haulers will come as soon as they can. Those signed up for the city’s garbage day reminders will also be alerted when collection is delayed due to snow or ice.

Holiday Garbage and Recycling

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