Sustainability Office

IMPORTANT UPDATES

Food Waste Composting!

We're pleased to kick of our food waste drop off program that will help Portland residents reduce waste by composting food scraps. Visit the location near you: North Street Community Garden, Boyd Street Community Garden, Clark Street Community Garden, Libbytown Community Garden, and Riverside Recycling. Learn more at our Compost Page.

Energy Benchmarking Reports Due May 1

The owners of buildings with 20,000 square feet that are occupied at least 90% by a single occupant must report their energy and water consumption by May 1.  Learn more at our Energy Benchmarking page.

Straw Ordinance

As of January 1, 2021 food and beverage retailers are prohibited from distributing plastic straws. Straws made of materials other than plastic may be distributed upon customer request only. 

One Climate Future

We're pleased to announce the release of One Climate Future! Thank you to everyone who has offered comments, taken part in discussions, taken surveys, or participated in the process in any way. We are excited to hear your comment on the draft. You can find it at the One Climate Future website. While you are there, sign up for our biweekly newsletter and learn about upcoming events.

Heritage Tree Ordinance: On Monday, August 3 the Portland City Council adopted an ordinance to protect large trees located in designated historic districts. These include native trees such as oaks, red maples, elms, birches, and chestnuts with a diameter of 24" or more. It also include decorative trees such as dogwoods, dawn redwoods, and apple with a diameter of 12" or more. Anyone who wishes to cut down one of these trees must receive a permit from the City Arborist and, if granted, must replace the trees on their property or contribute to a fund dedicated to planting trees in areas that lack an adequate tree canopy. 

The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve vital ecological services provided by large trees. This includes carbon sequestration, cooling, and storm water management. See the documents section below to download a copy of the ordinance.

Maine State Plastic Bag Ban: Enforcement of Maine’s statewide ban on plastic bags will begin on July 1, 2021. The DEP has prepared a fact sheet with important information about the law. Click to learn more. The State law pre-empts Portland's bag fee ordinance.

​What We Do


The Sustainability Office undertakes initiatives designed to make Portland a vibrant, environmentally friendly community now and into the future. We collaborate with all departments to increase the efficiency of City operations and seek innovative approaches to improve municipal services. We partner with community organizations, citizens, and businesses working to conserve energy, reduce waste, and preserve our natural resources. We promote actions that will make Portland resilient in the face of a changing climate.

Current key Initiatives

Climate Action

The City of Portland has committed to reducing community wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and transitioning to 100% clean energy for municipal operations by 2040. Learn more about the many projects completed and underway to achieve these goals. Climate Action Initiative.

Smart City Initiatives

Smart city technologies enhance services for city residents and visitors, and lead to a more sustainable city. Projects include intelligent traffic signals in select locations, EV charging stations, and environmental sensors that can provide information about noise levels and air quality. Learn more.

Pesticide Use Ordinance

The City Council passed a pesticide ordinance designed to protect public health and the environment by reducing chemical inputs used for maintaining landscapes. Get more information on the new pesticide use guidelines.

Small changes can make a big impact.

5 Things You Can Do

  1. Reduce waste and recycle. Check out the EcoMaine Recyclopedia App.
  2. Weatherize your home. Learn more from Efficiency Maine.
  3. Walk, ride your bike, or take the bus to your destination. Learn more from Metro.
  4. Maintain a Bay Friendly yard. Learn more from Friends of Casco Bay.
  5. Support local businesses.  Learn more from Portland Buy Local.
Community Gardens 1

Documents