City of Portland holds its first-ever free RV disposal event - KPTV - FOX 12

City of Portland holds its first-ever free RV disposal event

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Motor homes, zombie trailers, RVs, campers – whatever you want to call them – you've probably noticed them congesting the streets of Portland. The city says this is the worst it's ever been.

For the first time ever, the city took in unwanted RVs for free. The idea is to stop the cycle of your old RV ever making it to the streets.

They have a lot of character and plenty of history, but these RVs have passed their prime. On Sunday, old clunkers from Portland went on their very last joyride. 

“These have less and less value when they're big and clunky, so it was very good for me 15 years ago, now it's time to pass it on,” said Kerry Pataki. 

Pataki handed over his keys to the city for the first-ever free RV disposal event. 

“America has a lot of stuff, junk… people are hesitant to take it in unless it has a value,” he said. 

Getting rid of your old RV is easier said than done. It costs at least $1,000 to properly dispose of your trailer, and many scrap yards are not taking them.

That's one reason why they're ending up here, cluttering the streets of Portland. 

“Just this year, since January, we’ve had 25 RVs catch fire on city streets,” said Dylan Rivera with the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “One RV caught fire and burned power lines overhead.”

But now the city is taking those old trailers off your hands for free, as long as your name is on the title and you're a Portland resident. 

“We're trying to take a proactive approach to preventing RVs becoming a hazard and a problem on city streets,” Rivera said. 

He said they received nearly 7,000 complaints about abandoned trailers in the first six months of this year.

“We've just seen an explosion of RVs in city streets,” said Rivera. 

But some say this RV event highlights a bigger problem in Portland. 

“If the city wants to focus on this, they should look at the root cause... which is not people having abandoned RVs. It's income and equality, it’s a housing shortage and housing scarcity for affordable housing,” one man told FOX 12. 

But for now, PBOT says it's a start.

“At least one step in the right direction,” Pataki said.

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