On Saturday, October 13, 2018, a dozen friends and I banded together to pick up an astonishing 2,500 pounds of litter and garbage off of China Hat Road, in the Deschutes National Forest. It was something I dreamed of doing for a long time, until I finally set things in motion by announcing a day and time, and then how quickly it wasn't just a dream anymore!
Although I organized the event, it would not have been such a great success without my friends Bruce, Glenn and Mike who lent their trailers to the event, plus everyone else who showed up or contributed in any way, and even the Knott Landfill who cut most of our dumping costs.
In preparation for the event, the Forest Service was contacted and they provided safety guidelines, for example: wear the proper attire (long pants, close toed shoes, gloves, eye protection, trash grabber, etc.) and don't pick up things like bottles of unknown goop, animal carcasses, or anything that makes you uncomfortable. Abandoned vehicles also can't be towed because there are technicalities with the VIN and title of a vehicle, but law enforcement can be notified. Since this event was such a great success, the Deschutes National Forest has expressed interest in providing more tools and help with waste disposal in future times.
There are a few things I learned this time to make next time go even better:
1) SOLV can provide garbage bags and advertisements on their event calendar for cleanup projects in Oregon--and this kind of work really requires heavy duty contractor bags
2) Construction face masks for the dust were a brilliant idea and I wouldn't go without them in future times
3) Local homeowners associations, news channels, sporting clubs and so forth may be interested in spreading the word or helping out
4) At our local landfill, trailer loads of trash must be covered(!) or else there is a steep fine; also, appliances like ovens were not included in the discounted dumping agreement for whatever reason
We all had fun despite the big mess, and lots of new friends were made out there. Great things happen when a bunch of people who are passionate about a clean earth work together to make a difference! There will definitely be another clean-up (although it would be even better if it weren't necessary)! If you're interested in helping or contributing next time, please send me an email stating so, and I will contact you directly next time it happens.
Happy Adventures and Keep Oregon Green,
Again, HUGE thanks to all of you who showed up or contributed supplies/tools, etc!