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).

Camps under Sellar Bridge 7

Collected from Homeless Camps in 2020

Douglas County Solid Waste was able to remove the following from the areas surrounding the trail:

  • 3,379 bags of garbage
  • 742 sleeping bags
  • 4,450 pounds of scrap metal
  • 340 needles
  • 155 bikes
  • 170 drug pipes
  • 213 knives
  • 25 shopping carts
  • Large amount of wire, include razor wire
  • 43,951 lbs of garbage disposed at the landfill

The amount of waste located at the sites was staggering and the proximity to the Columbia River makes these sites particularly concerning to the environmental safety of our waterways and wildlife. 

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In 2021 we hired new staff to help focus on cleaning up homeless camps along the Apple Capital Loop Trail and throughout Douglas County.

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