Metro’s Bag Program Takes Off

Metro’s Bag Program Takes Off

With the new bag program, people in the region experiencing homelessness now have a more dignified way to dispose of their trash.

Metro coordinates the distribution of the bags through social service organizations across greater Portland. Pilot partners include JOIN, Multnomah County Sheriff's HOPE TeamUnion Gospel MissionClackamas County Human ServicesClackamas Service CenterFruitful Spirit and Washington County Housing and Support Services Network. The bags are imprinted with Metro’s website and phone number. Anyone can contact Metro when the bags are full and Metro’s RID Patrol will collect the bags.

“There are other cleanup efforts in the region, but there are still gaps,” says Rob Nathan, senior solid waste planner for Metro and Master Recycler from Class 44. Metro decided to help fill the gap in places that weren’t already getting clean-up services.


Report a Bag

Call 503-234-3000 or

“We keep hearing from our partners (that) the more people are moved, the harder it is to provide them with transitional services, healthcare and housing—all those things we need to get people off the street,” Nathan says. “Our partners are really excited about this program because they see this as a tool to help keep people stable, in one spot, and complained about less.”

Metro's bag program offers a free pickup and disposal service for those experiencing homelessness. Anyone who sees a bag left for pickup can use the online RID Reporter to let the RID Patrol know where to collect it or call Metro at 503-234-3000.


Metro shines a light on people who are acting as the solution when it comes to garbage, recycling and our most vulnerable communities.

Metro and Outside the Frame worked in partnership to share the story of the bag project in the form of this moving video. Outside the Frame is a nonprofit that empowers houseless and marginalized youth to

This story highlights Juan Garcia who works on the pick up crew for garbage dumped in public places.

Rob Nathan said, “We plan to continue to do story telling. So please let Master Recyclers know if they come across any examples of people being a part of the solution when it comes to garbage, recycling and our most vulnerable communities, to let me know about it.”