Document Type


Publication Date



Recycling (Waste etc.) -- Oregon -- Portland -- Citizen participation, Municipal services -- Citizen participation, Waste minimization

Physical Description

15 pages


In 1983, the Oregon legislature enacted the nation's first recycling bill. The bill called for a state-wide curbside recycling program in communities of 4,000 and over, aimed at reducing the volume of waste going to landfills and increasing participation in recycling. In the Portland area, the curbside recycling effort has focused primarily on single-family residences, while multifamily dwellings, including apartment buildings and condominiums, have received less attention. One of the most serious problems confronting Portland's recycling efforts is gaining the cooperation of apartment building owners, managers, and tenants to participate in source separation and recycling.

Portland also has an unacceptably high rate of youth unemployment, with teenagers being more than twice as likely as adults to be among the city's jobless. Columbia Villa's teenagers represent an important resource that can assist the Housing Authority with establishing a recycling program.

In the summer of 1989, the Recycling Education Project (REP) at Portland State University, in cooperation with the Housing Authority of Portland, the City's Bureau of Environmental Services, the Private Industry Council, and the Portland Public School's Home Repair Project began a multi-materials recycling program in the Columbia Villa housing project. The "Villa" is comprised of 478 multi-family housing units containing over 1,500 low-income tenants, and is administered by the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP).

Source separation and recycling has been established in several of the Housing Authority's high rise buildings, primarily those occupied by elderly residents. It was not until July, 1989, however, that Columbia Villa had a systematic recycling program in place. It is estimated that the Villa generates 3.35 tons of solid waste per day, at significant cost to the HAP.


Catalog Number PR044.

A product of the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier