GreenYes Archives

[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[GreenYes] Requirements for onsite garbage/recycling storage space at busine sses

Dear GreenYes-ers,

Happy holidays from the rainy City of Roses. We're looking for some advice
from the rest of you (and from anyone else you may refer us to).

The City of Portland is looking at ways to prohibit, or at least reduce the
number of, Dumpsters and other garbage & recycling (G/R) containers
permanently sitting on public sidewalks (i.e., public right-of-way). Our
current regulations aren't working very well.

We are asking you for information and/or contacts for other cities to see
what good solutions you might have found. We are thinking that it's
probably done through your planning and zoning regulations, by requiring
property owners to provide G/R storage space on their own properties, and
including specs for that storage space. But if you have any other workable
system, we'd like to know that. We're interested in what the regulations
are, and how and by what agency they are enforced.

Even for new buildings, Portland's codes do not require that developers set
aside any indoor, or even outdoor, space for onsite storage of G/R
containers. *If* onsite storage is included, it must meet safety
requirements. And the planning and zoning code requires that if such
storage is outdoors, it must be screened and landscaped. However, the
screening/landscaping requirements are often not actually observed.

In older buildings, the problem of G/R containers being stored on sidewalks
also arises in several circumstances. One is older buildings where there
may never have been much/any onsite storage space for G/R containers, either
indoor or outdoor. These include apartment buildings as well as other

Other circumstances are older buildings which are remodeled into new uses
but without taking adequate steps to accommodate onsite garbage/recycling
storage space. In some cases the remodeling may even reduce or eliminate
the onsite G/R storage area, "forcing" the business to place their G/R
containers on the sidewalk. Sometimes, a business and its hauler agree to
consolidate the business' waste into a large sidewalk Dumpster, replacing
several smaller garbage carts which had been stored in indoor spaces and
rolled outdoors on pickup days. This can be an attractive option to both
hauler and customer because it's less work for both and pickup frequency may
be decreased, so the customer's cost is less.

[Note: Portland's regulatory system for commercial hauling is based on
private haulers in a competitive free market, with about 50 haulers
competing for over 15,000 customers. Haulers often bend over backwards to
seek or retain customers, and many have difficulty coping with requirements
that they feel may put them at a competitive disadvantage. For more
background on the regulatory system, see]

So how can we make progress toward having G/R containers stored indoors, or
at least onsite with screening and landscaping? Any leads you can provide
will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for whatever you can offer. Anne McL

Anne McLaughlin,
City of Portland, Office of Sustainable Development, Solid Waste & Recycling

721 NW 9th Ave, Rm. 350, Portland OR 97209-3447
Phone 503-823-7061 Fax 503-823-4562
Usual work schedule: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Visit our website at

[In the interest of waste reduction: if you really need to print out this
message or any attachments, please print double-sided or on used paper. Make
it fit on fewer pages by editing out unwanted parts first, and your printer
may have an option for printing two pages per side. Thanks!]

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]