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Portland Event Recycling

Partner: The City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability

Start Date: 2003

Duration: Current

The City of Portland’s Event Recycling Program (PER) works to decrease the amount of landfill bound waste generated by Portland’s numerous festivals, street fairs, and other community events.  PER program staff works one-on-one with event organizers to develop and implement site-specific waste diversion systems for events and manages and distributes event recycling and composting equipment. Through Portland Event Recycling, the City of Portland provides assistance and equipment to events free of charge.

PER program staff currently works with over 180 events annually. The PER program strives to help organizers create easy to understand recycling systems that are tailored to each event. Much of the program’s emphasis has been focused on fine-tuning the collection systems at large-scale summer events held at Waterfront Park, as these events draw large crowds and produce a significant amount of waste.

Recent Accomplishments

During the 2011 season, program staff worked with a number of organizations to further develop public place recycling efforts in Portland.  PER staff collaborated with the Master Recyclers to develop the “Adopt-an-Event” program. This program connects event organizers with Master Recyclers to provide comprehensive waste diversion coordination staff.

PER staff also worked closely with Friends of Last Thursday to develop their “Leave No Trace” trailer; which allows the quick and efficient shut down NE Alberta Street, and set up plastic, aluminum, and glass recycling for the monthly 15-block festival.

In a continuing relationship with Waterfront Park festival organizers, PER staff provided consultation and support for back-of-house composting, growing from four events in 2010, to ten events in 2011.


  • Since the program started tracking events, from 2004 - 2011 PER assisted over 870 events across the city,
  • In 2011, Waterfront Park events showed a 55% cumulative waste diversion rate, up from 29% in 2010; and
  • The 2011 Bite of Oregon achieved a 99% waste diversion with the a combination of back-of-house sorting and public side education.


City of Portland Event Recycling

Recycling Equipment List

To learn more about Portland Event Recycling Contact CES.

Or contact the Event Recycling Program at 503-725-5147 for more information.