Portland recovery program has spent over $20k removing illegally dumped trash

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:09 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A southeast Portland drug treatment center is battling to stay open despite being bombarded by thieves, vandals and people who are illegally dumping trash.

Teen Challenge’s Resale and Donation Center at Southeast 82nd Avenue and Raymond Court is a thrift store that supports a drug treatment program. The store has been targeted by thieves before, breaking out windows, stealing computers, as well as items from the store safe. Then a few days ago, someone stole the store’s 25-foot truck. People have also been illegally dumping vast amounts of trash behind the store.

Employees say they have found everything from water heaters to old entertainment centers. Store manager Daniel Ciullo says in a week, they are cleaning up enough illegally dumped trash to fill a 40-yard dumpster.  It has cost Teen Challenge about $20,000 to dispose of the illegally dumped waste.

Police have not caught up with the culprits yet, Ciullo says. Store employees reported the theft of the truck to police but employees ended up recovering the truck themselves.

Nonetheless, Ciullo says he’s determined to help keep the doors to the drug treatment program open. He’s a former addict who was helped by the program.

“We’re gonna keep going, we don’t have any other option,” Ciullo says. “There’s people out there that need help and we’re gonna keep doing what we do.”