Cleanup and Garbage Removal

One worker holds a plastic bag while another worker loads trash into it.
Work teams help clean trash and debris at campsites – as much as 800,000 pounds per month.

The average American produces nearly 5 pounds of trash per day. When people live unsheltered, without access to garbage service, that trash becomes visible — and it can become a health risk, too.

Responding to community reports, the Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program dispatches work teams to campsites across Portland to help collect trash. This service is designed to improve health and safety for people living in encampments, as well as housed neighbors who are affected by excess trash.

Teams work collaboratively with unhoused people to respect personal belongings while removing trash such as old household items, food waste, discarded furniture, drug paraphernalia and more. 

In 2019 the program collected an average of 500,000 pounds of trash near campsites each month. That monthly total increased to 650,000 pounds in 2020. In March 2021, work teams removed a record 818,560 pounds of garbage.

Trash removal is part of the Impact Reduction Program's work to minimize the impacts of homelessness today while the City of Portland expands long-term access to safe, affordable housing.

Request cleanup and garbage removal

Community reports generate the City's work plan for garbage removal. Every report is reviewed, with priority given to the areas that pose the greatest health and safety risks.

Report concerns about trash and garbage online or by calling 311 or 503-823-4000

Report abandoned automobiles

To report people living in a vehicle, please use the Portland Bureau of Transportation Abandoned Auto Report Form. This form is also accessible through PDX Reporter. Please note, PBOT's Parking Enforcement team only needs one report in their system to begin the process and investigate the issue.

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