Program Info

The Bad News

Portland area residents send over a million tons of waste to landfills every year.

The Good News

Unofficial and highly biased sources rate Portland as one of the most creative and diverse artist communities in the country.

What if we were to harness our region’s artistic energy to help address the problem of excessive waste generation?


In the fall of 2010, Recology, an employee-owned company that manages a variety of resource recovery facilities, Metro, the regional government that manages the Portland metropolitan area’s garbage and recycling system, and crackdpots, an environmental arts organization, got together to create GLEAN.

Taking its inspiration from Recology San Franciso’s renowned 25+ year Artist In Residence program, the GLEAN program’s goals are to prompt people to think about their consumption habits, inspire creative reuse and initiate larger conversations about the waste we generate.

Program Elements

  • Artists are given the opportunity to glean materials from the transfer station for the program duration.
  • Each artist is required to create a minimum of 8 pieces available for sale at the exhibition in the fall.
  • Ninety-five percent of each piece must be created from materials gleaned from the transfer station.
  • Each artist is paid a $2,000 stipend upon successful completion of the program.
  • Each artist receives 80% commission from the sale of their art at the exhibition.
  • Applicants must be a resident of Multnomah, Washington, or Clackamas counties.
  • Recology will retain one piece from each artist.
  • Metro will retain one piece from each artist for a two-year period of public exhibition.
  • Artists are required to sign an Artist Agreement and attend a Safety Training before gleaning.
  • Artists must be available for monthly weekday meetings.

Visit our Flickr page to see images of GLEAN programs past and present at


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