PORTLAND, Ore. — Crews with the city of Portland returned to Northeast 33rd Drive near Marine Drive this week to continue cleaning up garbage and removing the vehicles that line the street.
On Thursday morning, there were a handful of trucks and cars on the east side of Northeast 33rd Drive. It’s the side of the street where the Portland Bureau of Transportation removed RVs and other vehicles about a week ago.
This week, the city is focused on the other side of the street, working with homeless campers to clean up garbage.
Metro’s Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Patrol crews worked their way down the long line of RVs along the west side of the street. The homeless people living in the camps anxiously awaited their turn.
“It’s intimidating, that’s for sure,” said Trevor Woods, who’s been homeless for more than 10 years. “To know that everything you have could be gone just like that.”
He started gathering trash from his campsite at 7 a.m.
“Anything on this side of the curb has to be completely off, just like on that side. They removed everything,” he said.
“I’m getting rid of garbage and tires and things from previous stints,” added a woman who lives a few RVs down.
From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, Metro’s RID Patrol team has worked on Northeast 33rd Drive 14 times and removed 29 tons of trash.
“Definitely that part is helpful,” said Woods. “People driving around, they see all the garbage. It’s depressing.”
Metro estimates 50% of the trash is dumped by contractors and people who aren’t homeless.
“It’s not fair to us because it makes us look bad make us look like it’s our mess all the time,” said Tara Pietromonaco, who also lives on the side of the road.
She was working to fix her truck so she could tow her RV once the city told her to move.
“Make sure the bolts are all tightened and then my truck will run,” Pietromonaco said while climbing through the front seat.
“I don’t want to stay out here, no. I’m losing my mind. I’m going out of I’m losing my mind … I’m so over everything here, like, I sometimes wanted to just walk out the door and just start walking and literally just walk away from it — everything, everybody, everything because its hard,” she explained.
Last week. the city’s Impact Reduction Team cleaned and removed four camps along Northeast 33rd Drive. Since then, two others have been posted for removal.