Recycle at Home

All residents in Washington County have access to garbage and recycling collection service at home. Recycling takes just a few minutes and it is worth it. Recycling saves money, creates jobs, keeps the community clean and protects the environment. If you have questions, you can email a waste prevention and recycling specialist or call 503-846-3605.

What can I recycle at home?

Need help figuring out which cart, bin or container a material goes in? Enter an item below to find out if it goes in the garbage, in the recycling or should be taken to a drop-off recycling center. Provide your address to find a location close to you.

waste prevention and recycling guide thumbnailwaste prevention and recycling guide thumbnailwaste prevention and recycling guide thumbnail

Include in the mixed recycling:

  • Paper and cardboard

    • Boxes, magazines, newspaper, junk mail and rinsed cartons
    • Shredded and scrap paper in a sealed paper bag
    • Flattened boxes — less than 3 by 3 feet

  • Metal

    • Rinsed metal cans —lids and scrap metal contained in crimped can
    • Empty aerosol cans with nozzles on can
    • Metal paint cans — less than 1 inch of dry paint
    • Scrap metal — pieces up to 30 pounds and smaller than 30 inches long
    • No household appliances

  • Plastic bottles, buckets and tubs

    • Rinsed containers
    • Clean, plastic paint containers
    • Sizes between 6 ounces and 5 gallons

Separate glass bottles and jars:

  • Rinsed containers with no caps, lids or corks
  • In a separate container from mixed recycling

Learn more:

Who collects my garbage and recycling?

The type of residence you live in and your address determines who, when and how your garbage and recycling is collected.

Single-family homes and up to four-plexes:

Residents in single-family homes or buildings with four or less units do not share garbage and recycling services and have their own containers. Learn more about single-family recycling

Multifamily communities with five or more units:

Residents in communities of five or more households share the same garbage and recycling services and containers, which are paid for by the property manager or home owners association. Learn more about multifamily recycling.

Why should I recycle?

Reduce costs

By separating out reusable and recyclable materials from the garbage, the garbage service may be reduced, which can save money. 

Create jobs

Recycling services create jobs with businesses that haul, process and sell recovered materials, as well as with companies that manufacture and distribute products made with these recycled materials. Recycling in our state creates nearly $1.55 billion in economic benefits for Oregonians. 

Keep the community clean 

Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Manufacturers can use more recycled materials to create new products instead of raw materials, which reduces air, water and land pollution. 

Protect the environment 

Recycling conserves energy and natural resources such as trees, water and minerals used to make new goods. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a light bulb for four hours.

How does recycling work?

Ever wonder what happens to your recycling after it leaves your home? Watch a video to learn more about the journey your recycling takes and better understand why it's important to recover these materials (13:25 min).

Additional resources