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