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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Illegal Dumping

What is illegal dumping?

  • The disposal of waste in areas such as vacant lots, along roadways, alleys, city and county parks, ravines, construction sites.
  • Materials tossed in dumpsters at businesses and apartment complexes, on residential property, at public parks, in City or Tri-Met litter cans located in business areas, and in the street.
  • Putting bagged garbage into, or next to, someone's else garbage can that has been set out on their pickup day.

Dangers of illegal dumping

  • There is a high risk of physical injury from items with dangerous protruding nails or sharp edges in addition to possible harmful chemicals or other hazardous materials.
  • Illegal dumpsites attract rats, insects, and other vermin which may also pose a health risk.
  • Decaying garbage and yard debris create unpleasant odors and harm our environment.
  • Dumped materials containing toxic or hazardous substances threaten surface or ground water.
  • The costs involved for cleanup, hauling and proper disposal of illegal dumpsites is considerable.

Be careful who you hire
If you hire someone to haul away your "junk," you are responsible if it is dumped illegally. You could be charged clean-up costs and a fine. If you do hire someone other than your garbage hauler, be sure you have a receipt with name, address, telephone number and vehicle license number.

Reporting illegal dumping

Use Metro's online Complaint Form or call Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000.

Metro works with local government agencies to assure that illegal dumps are quickly and thoroughly cleaned up and investigated. They provide illegal dump cleanup services on publicly owned land. Metro can also assist private property owners with investigation of illegal dumps on private property.

If you witness illegal dumping in progress, contact Metro at 503-234-3000 with as much information as possible -- such as the vehicle license plate number and state, year and make; and, descriptions of the people involved. Contact Metro as soon as possible if you find evidence (such as mail with an address) at a site or in illegally dumped solid waste (such as batteries, sofas, partially or completely filled paint cans, mattresses, or TVs), find bags of trash which may have evidence in them, or witnessed an illegal dumping incident.

City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services - Nuisance Dept.: 503-823-7306
Call this number when you find trash that has been illegally dumped but you have no idea who did it. If the piles or bags are composed of wastes that cannot be traced back to any person they will use the nuisance process to make sure that it is cleaned up. Examples of these types of wastes include mattresses, refrigerators, yard debris, building demolition debris (siding, roofing, sheet rock, metal).

City of Portland's Bureau of Maintenance: 503-823-1700
Call this number if the material has been dumped into the street and is blocking the street or causing a traffic hazard, they will send out a maintenance crew to clean it up. This is a 24-hour response telephone number.

City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services Pollution Spill Line: 503-823-7180
Call this number if you find liquid wastes that have been dumped in the street or down a street drain. This group responds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.