PORTLAND, Ore. - For Portlanders, the way our garbage gets collected from the curb has now changed.
Starting now, the city wants you to throw all your food scraps and yard debris into the same roll cart so it can all be composted. Read this informational flyer.
Why the change?
It's all part of the city's Portland Recycles! effort, which was launched back in 2007. Phase one was to get folks to recycle more and phase two is to get all of us to start composting.
The city has been testing the composting idea with a pilot program involving around 2,000 households. The city reports that 87 percent of those who participated in the pilot program were very or somewhat satisfied with the system and that the amount of garbage needing to be picked up dropped by almost a third.
So how will this work?
You might remember that it was just four years ago that the city adopted its Portland Recycles! plan. At that time everyone got blue and green roll carts for their recyclables and yard debris. And of course everyone has those old yellow bins for glass.
Now you've got a brown kitchen pail to add to the collection. Simply fill it up with your food scraps and when it's full, dump it in your green container with your yard debris.
A southeast Portland family gave the new process a trial run. Watch the video to find out what they think about the program.
What about my garbage pickup?
What might take some getting used to is the fact that your regular garbage can won't be emptied every week once the program starts. Instead, garbage haulers will pick it up every other week.
So what gives?
Well basically the idea is that your regular garbage can won't get nearly as full since you'll be dumping all of your food scraps into your green container, which will get picked up every week starting Oct. 31.
That means you'll still be getting weekly garbage service, just with a different roll cart.
What about rates? Will they be going up?
The simple answer is no unless you have a 60-gallon roll cart ($3.50 more per month) or a 90-gallon roll cart ($3.80 more per month).
Also, those with monthly garbage service will see an increase of $2.60 per month because the city is changing the service to once every four weeks, which adds an additional week for the year.
What if I have questions or comments?
Now obviously change takes a bit of getting used to and there will be questions, so if you've got a comment or inquiry to make about the new plan, send it directly to the city using their online form. You can also give them a call at the curbside hotline at (503) 823-7202 or send the city an email.
For more information online...
More helpful information from KATU Problem Solver Shellie Bailey-Shah
Composting 101: A How To Guide
Composting 101: Answers to the top questions