Portlanders living in recreational vehicles (RVs) have limited options to dispose of sanitary waste (toilet waste) and gray water (sink and shower waste). Human health and environmental health are at risk if this waste is dumped into a green street, a storm inlet, or the street gutter. This program respectfully addresses the sanitation needs of our homeless neighbors.
Through the RV Pollution Prevention Program (RVP3), crews pump out sanitary waste and gray water from RVs parked in the right-of-way and dispose the waste safely. The program eliminates a potential pathway for pollutants to reach our streams and river, and eliminates the potential for human exposure to pathogens.
The program operates five days a week. A pump out truck driver proactively drives to areas with RVs and offers to pump out RVs parked in the street. Community members can also call a dedicated phone number to request a pump out for their vehicle or to let us know about RVs that need to be pumped out.
Call 503-865-6884 to request a pump out.
The program offers support from a social worker, and also provides basic hygiene products including RV-specific toilet paper, soap, feminine sanitary products, and toothbrushes and paste. The program also provides heavy-duty garbage bags and garbage pickup.
Who does this program serve?
Portland residents who are living in RVs parked on the street are eligible for the pump out program. There is no application. Residents simply call the phone number to request a pump out or to find out when the truck will be in their area.
Call 503-865-6884 to request a pump out. RVs are typically serviced within the next business day.
March 2021: Pilot Program Launch
July 2021: RV Pollution Prevention Program initiated and expanded using ARPA funds
December 2024: ARPA funding ends, and unless other funds are identified, the program will end
How is this program funded?
The City of Portland has committed $780,000 to this program. This money comes from the Federal government’s 2021 American Rescue Plan local recovery funds. Portland will receive a total of $208 million from the American Rescue Plan and has the next few years to spend it. The City of Portland is spending money in three priority categories:
- Houselessness Response and Household Stabilization
- Small Business and Commercial District Stabilization
- Community Health and Safety
Read more about these investments in this article: American Rescue Plan: Investing in Portland
Who manages this program?
The RVP3 is managed by Portland Bureau of Environmental Services whose mission is to manage wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to protect public health and the environment.
During the 3-month pilot program crews pumped out 192 RVs. The expanded program is expected to support about 140 RVs per week. Through additional efforts to address the homeless crisis, this program ideally will not be needed as people move into more stable housing over time.
We are committed to transparent, accountable reporting about the impact of Rescue Plan projects. We are currently developing the Rescue Plan Open Data Portal for complete data about all projects.