Outer East Portland clean-up project receives 70 tons of trash

See how more than 300 neighbors got rid of rubbish and yard debris‚ without leaving East Portland‚

Ross Monn explains the Clean Up program to arriving neighbors.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A new location and increased promotion are credited for revitalizing the East Portland Clean-up program sponsored by East Portland Neighbors, Inc., the coalition of outer East Portland Neighborhoods.

“This event helps everyone in our neighborhoods get rid of junk and stuff that is hard to dispose of,” said coordinator Bonny McKnight, co-chair of the Russell Neighborhood Association. “This would sit in back yards and basements. Hopefully, this will keep our neighborhoods a little cleaner.”

Marco Reyes, Bob Earnest, and Jim Blatt take a short break. Look at the junk they helped folks get out of their homes and neighborhoods.

McKnight said the event also lets people in the communities see their neighborhood organizations in action. “We’re handing out a lot of information about our associations and community services.”

Neighbors Scott Noy and Adam Leibham unload their truck of yard debris.

In fact, the tally shows 300 of the 340 neighbors bringing trash picked up information regarding their neighborhood associations. “It’s a combination of outreach and service,” McKnight added.

Centennial, Glenfair, Parkrose, Parkrose Heights, Hazelwood, Wilkes, Russell, and Mill Park neighborhoods participated in this event.

Increased promotion perks participation
The volunteers distributed an increased number of flyers, promoted the event at schools, bought an ad in the Mid-County Memo newspaper, and promoted the event in their own publication, East Portland Neighborhood News.

Wilkes Community Group chair Ross Monn was one of the neighbors who helped participants check in, and directed them to the appropriate drop boxes. Instead of just dumping refuse, participants separated recyclable metal, tires, and yard debris. Everything else was pitched into general debris drop-boxes.

Stephen Jenkevice, Glenfair Neighborhood Association, helps keep traffic moving smoothly at the event.

Monn said the increase in participation did cause the occasional backup onto NE Halsey St. and 122nd Avenue, the event’s location. “But the volunteers worked to keep traffic from spilling out on to the main streets,” he commented.

Eliminated fees for drop-off
In past years, those dropping off refuse paid a small “dumping” fee to defray the costs. This year, volunteers just asked for donations from participants. “This simplified the intake process and seemed to collect a comparable amount,” we learned from McKnight.

Marianne Solheim of Parkrose Heights got rid of trash, and is writing a donation check accepted by volunteer Alice Blatt.

By the time it was all over, just past noon on May 12, 19 drop-boxes (dumpsters) were filled to capacity.

Thanks to the diligent work of 45 volunteers, 24 tons of yard debris, 44 tons of mixed waste, 197 tires, and 3 tons of scrap metal were collected from 340 neighbors happy to rid their homes of this debris.

Volunteer Joyce Rothenbucher from the Hazelwood neighborhood helps out in the tire bin.

If you live in outer East Portland, find out more about what your neighborhood association is doing for you‚ and how you can help your neighborhood‚ by visiting www.epno.org.

On top of a dumpster filled with debris, volunteer Paul Capell from Wilkes Community Group helps neighbors get rid of just one more basket of refuse.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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