Sweep exposes massive Springwater trail trash issue

Homeless sweep leaves Springwater trash

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Cleaning up the Springwater Corridor brought to light the tremendous amount of debris built up along the trail after hundreds of homeless campers left.

Cleanup crews on day one filled a 40-yard dumpster with trash, picked up about 500 needles and disposed of 9 gallons of urine, according to a statement from Mayor Charlie Hales' office.

Nowhere to go: Springwater homeless sweep begins

The statement said 70 to 100 people moved out of the Begger's Tick area over the course of the day. The cost of the first-day effort is estimated to be between $150,000 and $400,000.

And that was just the beginning of the cleanup effort. On day two, piles and piles of trash remained in the area. Lawn chairs, bike parts, collapsed tents, utility tubs, laundry baskets, barrels, crates, coolers and more were left behind, with campers returning to sift through the rubbish.

Photos: Springwater Trail homeless trash at Beggar's Tick

By the end of day two of the sweep, city crews estimated they’d filled one 30-yard dumpster with trash from Portland’s Lambert Field and pulled 16 needles from Johnson Creek.

On top of that, they picked up 975 needles from other neighboring camps and collected a total of seven gallons of human urine.

Mayor's office spokesman Brian Worley said all campers had left Lambert Field. Crews filled two 40-yard dumpters with trash.


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