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Multifamily Recycling Standards

People living in apartments face barriers to recycling. Washington County has adopted new regional multifamily service standards to address these barriers.
Garbage and recycling containers

People need consistent visual cues

We’ve collaborated with regional partners to create clearer instructions and consistent signage. This way, no matter where you are in the tri-county area, the residents of your communities will know what goes where. New stickers for garbage and recycling bins and signs for collection areas are available to order now at no cost.

In addition, a new color-coded system for garbage and recycling collection has been established. Over the next seven years, your bins will be replaced with: gray or black for garbage, blue for recycling, and orange for glass recycling. Color coding makes it easier for residents to see what materials go where, minimizing costly mess and contamination.

People need adequate container space for garbage and recycling

Washington County has set a minimum level of service for garbage, recycling and glass recycling at multifamily communities and condos:

  • Garbage - 20 gallons per unit per week, or 0.1 yard per unit per week
  • Recycling - 20 gallons per unit per week, or 0.1 yard per unit per week
  • Glass - 1 gallon per unit per week

For reference, glass recycling bins are 14 gallons. Roll-carts are typically 65 gallons. Dumpsters are measured in cubic yards and generally range in size from one to eight yards.

If your service falls below this minimum, your garbage and recycling company will contact you to make needed adjustments.

People need to know what materials go where

Oregon has a longstanding requirement to provide recycling education to new community members at the time of move-in and educate all residents annually. Letting your community know what can be recycled and what items are prohibited from the garbage helps everyone participate correctly.

Order free resources like guides, door hangers and bags to carry recyclables from the home to the collection area. Our team can deliver these resources door-to-door, and even schedule a virtual presentation for your community.

About these changes

These changes are a direct outcome of the 2030 Regional Waste Plan, adopted in March 2019 by Metro, our regional government. The plan sets the policy direction for our entire region’s garbage and recycling system. It reflects the needs and ideas from members of our community who have not had a strong voice in the development of environmental plans, policies or programs in the past.

Work leading up to the 2030 Regional Waste Plan included a collaborative analysis of garbage and recycling in apartment and condominium buildings across greater Portland, including properties in Washington County.