Homeless Camp Clean-Up
In February 2020, Douglas County Solid Waste began the long process of inventorying and remediating homeless encampments and illegal dumps along the Douglas County portion of the Apple Capital Loop Trail. The initial stages of this undertaking included identifying established camps, performing cursory assessments of the contents, and distinguishing between active and abandoned sites.
On April 21, 2020 Douglas County Solid Waste began the second phase of this process involved physical cleanup and mitigation of the sites. Ten individual abandoned sites were able to be cleared up with extensive help from the Eastmont Metro Park Department (EMPD).
Douglas County Solid Waste was able to remove the following from the areas surrounding the loop trail:
Collected in 2020
Collected in 2021
Collected in 2022
3,379 bags of garbage
657 bags of garbage
502 bags of garbage
742 sleeping bags
63 sleeping bags
39 sleeping bags
4,450 pounds of scrap metal
1,295 pounds of scrap metal
230 pounds of scrap metal
170 drug pipes
13 drug pipes
0 drug pipes
25 shopping carts
2 shopping carts
3 shopping carts
43,951 lbs of garbage disposed at landfill
|20,397 lbs of garbage disposed at landfill||12, 208 lbs of garbage disposed at landfill|
|Large amount of wire- Razor wire|
The amount of waste located at the sites in 2020 was staggering & the proximity to the Columbia River made these sites particularly concerning to the environmental safety of our waterways & wildlife.
In 2021 we hired new staff to help focus on cleaning up homeless camps along the Apple Capital Loop Trail and throughout Douglas County
It was a relief to see a decrease in the amount of items we collected in 2021 & the overall garbage disposed of compared to the year before.
Our continued efforts are still paying off. The amount of homeless camps and garbage being disposed on the loop trail have dropped since we started this program in 2020.
This year in 2023 with the efforts of new housing & shelters moving in the area for the homeless & our efforts, we will hopefully continue to see a decrease on the amount of garbage & waste around Douglas County & our loop trail.