Metro's illegal dumping patrol cleaning up dump sites, homeless - KPTV - FOX 12

Metro's illegal dumping patrol cleaning up dump sites, homeless camps in Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Illegal dumping has become a major quality of life problem in the Portland area, with cleanup crews responding to more than 3,000 dump sites per year.

Inmates on loan from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, along with a supervising deputy, make up Metro Portland's RID Patrol, which responds to illegal dumping complaints.

RID stands for Residential Illegal Dumping.

"We'll take the location. We'll come out and get it as soon as we can. If you happen to see the item being dumped, if you can get a license plate for us, that's really helpful," said Tiffany Gates, a Metro spokesperson.

Gates said sofas, mattresses, and piles of debris are commonly found dumped illegally around the Portland area.

The RID Patrol mostly handles small sites, but has also been used in the past to clean up homeless camps.

Gates said the City of Portland asked Metro crews to help clean up after the sweep of the Springwater Trail.

"Homeless camps are a little bit messier than your average illegal dump site. But the inmates work hard and bag everything up safely, and dispose of it in the same way," said Gates.

Carol Walden, who lives next to a frequent dump site in northeast Portland, said she appreciates the RID Patrol's work.

"It's a wonderful service," said Walden. "I never mind paying taxes anyway, but this is a very good service for the community."

Gates said detectives assigned to assist the RID Patrol occasionally trace what's been dumped back to where it came from.

A civil citation for illegal dumping can cost up to $500, in addition to the cost of the cleanup.

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