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Bend residents work to clean up trash on the streets


Julie Potter has lived in Bend for the past four years, and said that she doesn’t like to see garbage pile up on the side of the road.

Potter lives in northeast Bend, near Butler Market Road and Purcell Boulevard. She said Tuesday she has seen much more garbage lately popping up in her neighborhood.

Potter said she wants to make sure people are aware of their actions, and wants to see people clean up after themselves.

“It’s a simple deed,” Potter said. “And actually, people appreciate you doing something that small — they’re like, ‘Oh, thank you!’ And you get a good benefit, because the community looks a lot better.”

Picking up trash is personal for Potter, as she told me she met her husband on a beach while they were picking up garbage.

She said she hopes that people will be able to come together to keep the city of Bend clean.

City officials said they are constantly working to keep garbage off of the roads.

Streets and Operations Department Director David Abbas said they do what they can to keep things clean.

Abbas said his crews are always working to keep the roads clean, and he partners with different agencies such as the Bend Beautification Program and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to keep trash off the roads.

But he understands that they are always going to be working to clean up after people.

“It’s there, stuff blows out of the back of vehicles, so it’s an ongoing battle, where we are trying to keep up with it,” Abbas said. “You know, with that multi-pronged approach there, as best we can with the folks we have.”

Abbas also said they have been able to get a pretty good handle on things, even after budget cuts hurt their resources.

He said he hopes the community will be able to pitch in as much as possible as well. Abbas said Bend is a place everyone should be proud of, and everyone should look to take care of it.

And Bend’s garbage collectors are looking to do the same.

Deschutes County’s Knott Landfill is where the city’s trash ends up, and it is up to Timm Schimke, the county’s director of solid waste, to make sure it stays there.

When wind picks up, the garbage can tend to float away, and that’s when Schimke’s crews jump into action.

“We’re trying to be as good a neighbor as we can,” Schimke said. “We recognize that sometimes our operations have negative impact on our neighbors, so we’re more than happy to go out there and do what we can.”

The county Department of Solid Waste also partners with the sheriff, but they also work with the Heart of Oregon Corps, which hires young adults who are on call for the county to help clean up the garbage.

The organization said Tuesday that this partnership is not only beneficial for the young adults they are trying to help out, but it’s also a great way for them to give back and help out the community.

The department of solid waste cleans up the area just about every day, according to Schimke.

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