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Guide to recycling at home

Garbage and recycling    Recycle at home    Guide to recycling at home

Making the most of your home bin is an easy way to recycle more. Look here to discover what should and shouldn’t get set by the curb.

Want  to learn which materials can be recycled at home, which can't and why? Get the what, how and whys of residential recycling.

Please put the following together in your roll cart or in one recycling bin or container:

Place in a separate bin or container:

Please, no plastic bags! They clog the equipment at sorting facilities.

Find out why plastic bags can't be recycled at home and why glass must be separated from all other recyclables. Learn more

If you live in a home ranging in size from a single-family residence to a four-plex, you can also set out additional items at the curb:

Motor oil

Never put motor oil in the garbage, sink or storm drain. Instead, recycle it next to your roll cart or bin in clear, leakproof plastic containers with tight screw-top lids. Clean, empty milk jugs or juice and soda bottles work well. Please, no containers larger than 1 gallon. Don't contaminate oil with other fluids. 

Yard debris

Most communities in the metropolitan area offer curbside yard debris collection, but service varies. Call your garbage hauler or local government solid waste and recycling office for information.

Include in your yard debris container

  • branches no more than 4 inches thick and 36 inches long, weeds, leaves, vines and grass
  • house plants, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables
  • pumpkins, but no candles from jack-o'-lanterns.

Do not include

  • pet waste
  • dirt, rocks or stumps
  • ashes or treated wood
  • plastic, metal or garbage
  • branches more than 4 inches thick
  • kitchen scraps, except in the city of Portland, where residents can add food waste to their green roll cart.

Need assistance?

Metro Recycling Information
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Related Links

Saving Little Pieces of Our Earth video

Ever wonder how recycling works? View a video that follows paper, aluminum, steel, plastic and glass through the recycling process - from your recycling bin to a material recovery center and then into new products.

Find a recycler

From packing peanuts to propane tanks, get sustainable solutions for unwanted materials using Metro's recycler directory with more than 400 local recycling and reuse sites.

Related Internet links

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Portland composts food scraps

Portland composts!

Portland residents can throw food scraps in their green roll cart. Fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products are all fit for pickup. Find out more at Portland Composts! Go

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All Wrapped Up video

Plastic bags and curbside carts don’t mix

This 30-second video shows the havoc plastic bags can cause when put in your curbside recycling bin. Instead, take them to one of the many stores and recycling depots that accept plastic bags, shrink-wrap and other stretchy plastic film.” Watch the video

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