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Clean up your neighborhood

Garbage and recycling    Neighborhood cleanup

Make a difference in your neighborhood by planning a community cleanup event. Metro offers vouchers to nonprofits for the disposal of bulky waste and nonrecyclable materials.

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cleanup guide

Community Cleanup Guide

Wondering how to plan a cleanup event in your community or favorite natural area? The Community Cleanup Guide can help you and your neighbors put your values into action. Get tips on everything from safety and volunteer recruitment  to how to get funding and publicity for your event.Download the guide

Metro's disposal voucher program supports community and natural area cleanups sponsored by neighborhood associations, local governments, public agencies and eligible nonprofit organizations. These projects enhance the appearance and safety of neighborhoods and contribute to the livability of the region. The vouchers cover the disposal costs of bulky waste and nonrecyclable materials that are collected during cleanup events. 

Local governments also are eligible to participate in Metro's neighborhood cleanup matching grant program that pays for other items related to cleanup events, like dumpster rental fees, advertising, and gloves and supplies for volunteers.

Background

In 2009 the Metro Council approved $100,000 in funding for the disposal voucher program and directed staff to clearly define the qualifying criteria for organizations and events; to continue to call for waste reduction, education and recycling at cleanup events; to improve program user accountability and administrative efficiency; and to increase outreach about the availability of the program.

To achieve these goals, some modifications to the program were implemented Jan. 1, 2010. Disposal vouchers may no longer be used for residential yard debris and curbside cleanup events are no longer eligible. Qualifying events must have a primary focus on community cleanup, and event organizers are now required to complete and return an event summary form within 30 days of the event.

Qualifying events

Events that qualify for disposal vouchers include neighborhood or community cleanups, natural area cleanups and other events with a primary focus on waste reduction or recycling. Events should provide benefit to the public at large and cannot solely benefit one organization or that organization's membership.

Eligibility for disposal vouchers

  • Your organization must be a local government, neighborhood association or a qualified nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
  • You must apply for disposal vouchers at least 14 days prior to an event.
  • You must not contract with for-profit organizations to collect, process or sell used goods.
  • You must recognize Metro as a sponsor on all marketing materials.
  • You must provide opportunities at your event for reuse and recycling.
  • You cannot use Metro’s disposal vouchers to benefit any religious function of any religious group.
  • You are required to complete and return the event summary form within 30 days of your event or be subject to a one-year disqualification from the program. Your summary should include the amount and types of waste collected and recycled at your events, samples of event publicity, photo of reuse and recycling station, and number of people served.
  • You must use the vouchers by the expiration date, and return to Metro any unused vouchers no later than 30 days after your event.
  • There is a $5,000 annual limit per agency (depending upon fund availability).

Prohibited materials

  • hazardous waste
  • commercial landscaping
  • construction debris
  • waste not accepted at transfer stations
  • household garbage
  • residential yard debris or trimmings

How to apply

Fill out the disposal voucher application below and fax or mail it to Aidan Gronauer at Metro. Apply for disposal vouchers well in advance of your event, and no later than 14 days prior. Include proof of nonprofit status if applicable. Contact your local hauler to inquire about rental or donation of dumpsters. Metro’s disposal vouchers pay only for disposal of the waste at a local transfer station (the "tipping fee").

Return completed application and event summary forms to:

Metro's Sustainability Center
Attn:  Aidan Gronauer
600 NE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97232
503-797-1651 | 503-797-1849 fax
aidan.gronauer@oregonmetro.gov

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Metro
600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232-2736
503-797-1700
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax