The Neighborhood Dumpster Day Returns

After a two-year hiatus, Montavilla’s Dumpster Day returns as part of a new Portland program. Area residents are invited to drop off bulky household items on Saturday, September 24th, at the Montavilla Church parking lot on the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and SE Hawthorne Boulevard. This free program allows residents to dispose of many large items not collected in regular curbside bins and prevents trash from ending up on the streets.

Two years ago, Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life (Civic Life) discontinued a similar program once offered through neighborhood associations. Those programs provided an annual opportunity for residents to dispose of mattresses, broken furniture, and other trash that did not fit into regular collection containers. The events also served as a primary fundraiser for the nonprofit neighborhood organizations. Trash haulers will collect bulky items left on the curb during weekly pickup days if residents notify them ahead of time and pay a fee. However, some people do not have the means to arrange for those collections and instead leave items on the corner with “Free” signs attached. Those items can contribute to the City’s trash problem and congest public spaces.

The absence of a free dumpster program in Portland left a noticeable mark on the City’s trash collection system, prompting officials to create a new program. This weekend’s Montavilla Dumpster Day is the first in a series of events organized by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), with funding through the City’s Public Environment Management Office. For this event, the City will pay members of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) and the Jade District to support the Dumpster Day operations. In the future, BPS will hire contractors to run events held in other neighborhoods.

People are encouraged to bring mattresses, furniture, and certain small appliances like a toaster, vacuum, or microwave. Some treated lumber and wood stumps are accepted but need to come from households, not businesses. Tires, large appliances, electronics, and hazardous materials can’t go into the dumpsters. However, Oregon Metro staff at the drop-off site will assist people in finding the proper disposal agency for items not taken at Saturday’s event. A complete list of allowed and forbidden items is available on the BPS website.

Although a Montavilla-based event, organizers secured ample dumpsters to accept items from local residents and neighboring areas. However, space is limited, and the event staff recommends people come early. The entrance opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. or when the dumpsters are full.


Disclosure: The author of this article will work at this event and may receive payment for his participation.