Last month, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) installed trash cans throughout NE Portland, including parts of Montavilla. This latest rollout is part of a multi-year expansion of the City-managed rubbish collection program that started in 2017 with the Jade District. In 2016, Portland City Council voted to expand the city’s public trash can program into underserved areas and increase the solid waste commercial tonnage fee by $1.30 to fund the program.
Because Montavilla spans Northeast and Southeast Portland, the phased rollout of public trash cans occurred in different years. The neighborhood first received new rubbish receptacles south of E Burnside Street in December 2021. A year later, BPS crews began delivering cans to locations in North Montavilla. BPS staff placed units in high-traffic corridors along NE 82nd Avenue and NE Glisan Street. The intersection of E Burnside Street and 82nd Avenue gained three new cans. That addition brings the total to four trash enclosures, including the existing TriMet-owned can on the southeast corner. NE Glisan Street and NE 82nd Avenue also received multiple units adjacent to the bus shelters. Crews installed the remaining Montavilla cans in places identified as problem areas during a 2022 community survey. With trash can expansion work now covering all areas East of the Willamette River, BPS will spend the next two years increasing unit count in Northwest, South, and Southwest Portland.
The density of public trash cans is still insufficient on many streets, and littering will continue. However, this expansion is a significant push forward by the City to provide basic infrastructure for Portland’s residents. Trash cans alone will not prevent street trash, but they will reduce the overall volume of improperly discarded items and make it easier for civic-minded people clean public spaces. Look for the new cans already on the street and report any overflowing cans or other problems online to 311, by phone (503-823-4000), or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Correction (March 16th, 2023): The original version of this article indicated that BPS completed its trash can expansion. The city will continue adding new cans in other areas over the next two years.