PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County health officials are asking the public for help in finding whoever is leaving plastic bags filled with human feces along roads in Troutdale, Springdale and Corbett.
Yes, you read that right.
In a press release titled, “Perennial pooper still tossing bags of human waste along East County roads,” officials detailed the mysterious dumping, which they say has plagued communities at random intervals for five years.
Health officials have scooped up the bags, often from Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree, but they said they can’t get to them all as they are sometimes “snatched by passing dogs” or run over by unsuspecting drivers.
There have been nearly 500 bags picked up in the past four years — and it’s still going on. Health officials and nearby residents are pleading with the person responsible to reach out for help.
“I think they are in a situation where maybe we could help them,” said Lisa Kinney in the county’s prepared release. “I don’t imagine someone who has a bathroom would do something like this.”
The timing is random, officials said. At times, bags are being plopped down every few feet along rural roads every Sunday night. Or months could pass, and then several bags appear on the roadside. But the one constant: they’re always filled with human poop and cat litter.
Officials said residents of the area have been watching vigilantly for the illegal dumps, but “some have been ripped open and splattered by passing cars, with poop left to wash into the drainage ditch.”
Here are the areas that have been hit the most regularly, officials said:
- SE Sweetbriar Road, between SE Kerslake and Troutdale roads
- SE Kerslake Road, between SE Sweetbriar Road and SE Stark Street
- SE 282nd Avenue, between SE Sweetbriar and Strebin Roads
- SE Curtis Drive, between the Historic Highway and Smith Road
The ordeal presents a greater problem beyond the occasional dirty vehicle, officials said, and could spread diseases and contaminate waterways.
Multnomah County Code Enforcement handles illegal dumps, but officials said most of the time, it’s large household garbage.
Officials said the office is taking care of the bags in East County, but it interferes with their other duties, like inspecting businesses for adherence to clear air laws, checking for illegal livestock and dealing with abandoned cars in parks.
“I have a million other functions,” said Multnomah County Code Enforcement Officer Dave Thomson.
Thomson assured whoever is responsible that the office is “not interested in punishment” and that they “want to understand why the person might be doing this.”
“We want to help them get the support they need,” he said.
Thomson advised anyone who spots someone in the act of illegal dumping not to interfere. Instead, officials said to get a license plate number, remember the vehicle, if possible, and call 911.
To report bags like these or kinds of illegally disposed materials, contatct Multnomah County’s Environmental Health office at 503.988.3464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.