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Portland Multifamily Recycling

Portland Multifamily Recyling

Partner: City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Start Date: 1989

Duration: Current

The Portland Multifamily Recycling (PMF) project assists the City of Portland in providing recycling outreach and education to residents, property managers and maintenance staff at multifamily communities in Portland. Over 3700 multifamily communities have received outreach and education assistance from CES in the past 3 years.

The PMF project ensures recycling systems are up to date, and that all residents, property managers and community  staff are informed of changes or improvements to the Portland multifamily recycling services. Project staff frequently participate in evaluative research projects to assess the appropriateness of outreach methods, outreach objectives and educational materials.

The current PMF project is based on a long standing relationship with the City of Portland.  CES began with the implementation of a multifamily recycling pilot project in 1989 and since then has partnered with the City of Portland to provide ongoing recycling assistance to multifamily communities.  Over the past two years, CES has been instrumental in the identification and targeting of new multifamily developments as part of a focused effort to expand and improve the city’s multifamily recycling program.

Portland Multifamily Food Scrap Collection

Partner: City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Start Date: June 2012

Portland multifamily food scrap collection project (PMF FSC) is a sub-project of CES’s long-standing PMF contract. PMF FSC supports the City of Portland in the planning, development, management and execution of Portland’s food scrap collection evaluation and outreach project to multifamily communities.

In Fall 2011, the start of citywide residential food scrap collection led to increased inquiries from residents and property managers interested in food scrap collection. BPS responded through a comprehensive investigation of local participation and non-local programs to identify best practices and develop strategies, followed by development of resources to support multifamily properties offering their residents food-scrap collection. Since June 2012, CES has supported BPS’s efforts to evaluate collection systems and conduct educational outreach at participating communities.

Recent Accomplishments 

In summer 2012, CES supported site evaluations at sites across the city. In late summer and early Fall 2012, CES collaborated with BPS to develop strategies for distribution of educational outreach materials to 50 sites as part of an outreach pilot.  In October 2012, CES has delivered materials, reviewed collection set-ups and updated signage for the majority of the pilot sites.  CES is currently completing this phase and waiting to collaborate on the next phase.


  • Of the 52 sites observed during the summer 2012 site assessment, very little signage or container stickers were observed.
  • When BPS surveyed some of the participating residents at these sites, they learned: Over ½ of residents surveyed participate in their compost program. 
  • The most popular reasons for participation include 1) produces less waste and 2) it’s the right thing to do.


City of Portland BPS Garbage, Recycling and Composting website

City of Portland Multifamily Recycling website

City of Portland Compost! website 


To learn more about Portland Multifamily Recycling Contact the Project Manager at CES.