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Tanker truck loads of beer go to Portland wastewater treatment facility amid coronavirus pandemic

It’s another example of the not-so-pretty result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland is well-known for its beer. But have you wondered lately where all of it is going now that many of us beer drinkers are staying at home?

The PPV Inc. wastewater treatment facility in Northwest Portland is one of the unfortunate places where some of it is going.

Company vice president Adam Borgens said it all started last week with some unusual requests.

"At first you read it and it's like it, this a joke," he said.

But it was no joke. There were two requests to treat not just kegs worth of beer at the treatment facility, but tanker truck loads.

"We've probably had 15,000-20,0000 gallons of beer in the facility to be treated," Borgens said. "I wish we could have just taken it to a park and let everybody have a little fun… but unfortunately it came here for treatment, so we make sure everything is handled safely."

The beer had passed it freshness date, so getting rid of it was really the only option. It's an option Borgens expects others will be forced to choose as well.

"We knew it was something that we're going to see a trend on," he said. "So it was sad to see because we know the financial hardships for this industry...that's the tough part." 

It's not just beer coming into the facility  due to the coronavirus. There's also been wastewater from food manufacturers worried about COVID-19 contamination.

And while we were at the plant, a tanker truck full of what was once ice pulled in.

"We removed the ice today at the Moda Center that came in," said Borgens. "That's normal for us but it's obviously sooner than we would like to see it."

It's the waste we don't often see. The not-so-pretty result of businesses closed and seasons ended. And a reminder of just how massive of a loss it is.

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