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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Welcome to the official web site of the City of Portland, Oregon

General Information: 503-823-4000


1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 110, Portland, OR 97204

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Make nutrient-rich compost at home

Adding food scraps to composter

Composting turns your yard trimmings and vegetable scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your garden. When used as mulch, compost will reduce your need to water. Use it to enhance the soil, to make a potting mixture, or to add mulch around plants and shrubs. 

For Portland residents who want to create their own compost, you can set up a home-based system to capture both scrap materials for your backyard pile – and still include the food for your green Portland Composts! roll cart.

Toss yard debris and vegetable scraps in your backyard composter to get you started – and keep meat, grains, dairy and bones in your green curbside roll cart.

The basic ingredients for compost are “browns,” “greens,” air and water. Browns—like fall leaves and woody materials—are high in carbon, an essential energy source for microorganisms in the compost. Greens—like grass clippings and fruit and vegetable trimmings—are high in nitrogen, an essential nutrient for the decomposer organisms.

Get tips for backyard composting success at Metro. Find resources, including how to make your own compost bin, purchase one at a local garden center or from Metro at reduced rates.

Have more questions about backyard composting?
Contact Metro at 503-234-3000 or find more information online.

Need help with curbside composting?
Find videos and tips at