Recycling Collection

Lake Oswego offers “comingled” recycling, meaning that everything that can be recycled goes into the same container, with the exception of glass. It is very important that trash not end up in the recycling as it will contaminate the entire load. Remember: when in doubt, leave it out. 

Items such as plastic clamshells, iced and hot coffee cups, lids, straws, plastic bags, etc have never been permitted in your curbside recycling bin. At this time, with the exception of plastic bags and film, there is no domestic recycling market for these plastics and they must go into the trash.

Still Confused? We put together this presentation to help simplify it for you! When In Doubt, Throw It Out.

What goes into my recycling cart?

The following can go into your blue recycling cart, or recycling dumpster if you live a multifamily residence:

  • Plastic bottles, jugs, buckets and tubs larger than 6 ounces. Lids must be removed.
  • Mixed paper and cardboard
  • Metal

Please avoid "wishful recycling", meaning that you put an item in your recycling cart because it feels like it should be recycled. This just leads to contamination, which leads to increased costs as recycling facilities need to hire more sorters and pay disposal fees for these items. This is a major issue, directly responsible for increasing recycling costs.

Reducing Waste

Recycling was never meant to be the best or only option. You may have grown up hearing "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". Today we add REFUSE, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The most important thing you as a consumer can do is to minimize the use of single-use items in your life. Particularly those that cannot be recycled. Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your life:

  • Reuse produce bags or purchase reusable ones.
  • Buy produce as-is, not boxed or wrapped in plastic.
  • Purchase bulk foods using reusable bags. 
  • When buying packaged foods, choose items that are packaged in recyclable materials. For example, bags of cookies instead of clamshells, pasta in cardboard boxes, and canned foods. If you notice packaging in your supermarket that seems excessive (ie, potatoes wrapped in plastic), utilize your power as a consumer to let the chain know you disapprove of this practice. 
  • Bring your own drink container when buying coffee or tea. Hot and iced coffee cups are not recyclable.
  • Unless you need them for accessibility reasons, decline straws at bars, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Remember that you can still recycle plastic bags and film at most supermarkets.
  • Always bring reusable bags with you, but if you forget, choose a paper bag over a plastic one.
  • #6 plastics can be taken to Agilyx to be converted into a fuel alternative.

Recycling and Reuse

Use Metro's Find a Recycler web site to find where to recycle items not accepted in the curbside recycling program and organizations that take materials for reuse. If you have a specific question about recycling, hazardous waste disposal or waste prevention you can use this link to email a Metro recycling expert or call Metro at 503-234-3000.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Paint, motor oil, batteries, CFL or LED light bulbs, prescription medications, needles, and many other products are considered to be household hazardous waste. These products must be taken to the Metro South Transfer Station at 2001 Washington Street, Oregon City.

Paint can also be taken to the Miller Paint store at 544 N. State Street or Sherwin Williams at 15659 Boones Ferry Road.


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