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Community-serving Bendites clean up trash along China Hat Road area south of Bend, find a surprise

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Joseph Myers says he and his wife, Jackie Smit, have been serving the Central Oregon community in various ways over the past seven years.

Myers and three others got together Saturday and picked up up 2,100 pounds of garbage in four hours near China Hat Road. While they expected most of what they'd find to have been from the area's homeless camps, the trash evidence made clear much of it was disposed of by residents in town.

They plan to continue cleanups with a group called Public Land Stewards.

Myers is also an outreach coordinator for a local Bend non-profit, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, that builds beds for less fortunate families.

Smit brings in about 1,500 pounds of food a week to Bethlehem Inn through her food charity.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.



  1. Thanks for picking all of that trash up. I’m betting the vast majority was brought out there by homeless folks, but there are plenty of housed slobs too.

    1. – ha, the place has been treated like a dump by townies for generations 9you must be new here) but suddenly it’s homeless, just ‘cus you’ve got an ax to grind … all about what you “believe”

      1. There have been slobs dumping trash out there way before being a homeless in Bend was a “thing”. The volume has increased dramatically. Due to homeless people making public land their private “home”, and bringing all their precious stolen goods with them. You would need to be a willfully ignorant fool to think otherwise.

  2. Appreciate the effort but a waste of time when dumbocrats create laws to support this type of living. I recommend getting bigger trucks to bring out tens of thousands of pounds. Funny thing is the liberals will tell you that you are killing the planet because you don’t have electric trucks.

    1. So if the entire city, county, and state were completely run by Republicans, there would be no homelessness and illegal dumping? Is that what you actually believe?

      1. Maybe we should try a Republican leadership since the Democrats have been abject failures at the homeless problem. Thanks for the good idea.

          1. Well they wouldn’t have proposed bill 3115 like Tina Kotek did that mandates that cities codify ordinances that protect people from fines and fees for camping on public lands if the local government isn’t providing any other viable alternatives. Basically allows homeless to live anywhere they want. Republicans wouldn’t decriminalize hard drugs. How about no needle exchanges. That’s a start. How about not putting port a potty’s at homeless camps like by Lowes.

            1. So the proposal is:

              1) More fees for me to camp on public lands I’ve already paid taxes on.

              2) Pour more taxpayer dollars into the War on Drugs, a policy which hasn’t worked for 50 years.

              3) Increase taxpayer healthcare costs and drug user disease by eliminating needle exchange programs.

              I’ll think about it.

              It sounds like you kinda just want to make the area unpleasant for the homeless and drug users so they go elsewhere.

              What you should be wanting is a structural fix that actually addresses the issues these folks face. Neither major party is really good at that. When people start looking at what really needs to be done, most back down from the challenge and say, “Forget it. I’ll just pay extra tax to keep them all in jail so I don’t have to think about it.”

      2. That’s exactly how it was before liberals took over controlling Oregon. That is a fact. Once they took over and implemented their policies vagrancy exploded. If liberal policies work then why are they not working? Should we give them another 38 years? Don’t think Oregon can survive another

      1. Actually, yeah it is (as in “whet your appetite) though it’s obviously not what he meant. The intended new comment system will restore ability to edit posts.
        Learn to pronounce
        sharpen the blade of (a tool or weapon).
        “she took out her dagger and began to whet its blade in even, rhythmic strokes”
        put an edge on
        a thing that stimulates appetite or desire.
        “he swallowed his two dozen oysters as a whet”

    1. Probably this: “While they expected most of what they’d find to have been from the area’s homeless camps, the trash evidence made clear much of it was disposed of by residents in town.”

    1. Exactly and everything else stolen from town. This is a lame story intended to divert us from the real problem, squatters in our forest.

  3. Good on these people but in the local authorities were actually doing their job there would be no need for others to clean up after grown adults.

  4. Always party over policy with you people. Like anything would be different if republicans we’re in control? Maybe tax cuts for the wealthy but sorry, the homeless issue would remain the same because instead of helping be the solution and solve the problem, you would rather complain. (Proud to be an Independent)

    1. And…….you have a solution? I agree it’s bigger than party, but I’m waiting/thinking for something. Honestly if you have something, I’m here to listen.

  5. The ones that need the help are not helping with picking up the trash in my observations. The ones that are doing the dirty work and lip flapping are likely on the payroll of the non profit being well paid. Also as a bonus, they get a spot on the front page shaming the public by finger pointing in such a juvenile manner, all while attempting to wag the dog. Most of the new squatters are here for the free money to finance their evil ways while displaying ones ability to disregard, disrespect this area’s people and laws. That is not likely not tolerated by local laws from where they came from before making the big move to Bend. Follow the money if you seek the truth, quite telling and simple to see.

  6. Wow. So the folks picking up for those out there REALLY think that it’s people from town just coming out to dump their trash on them? Seriously!? Ever stop to think how much of that mail and packages and other things with our names and addresses on them is being stolen by the people out there and taken out to sift through?
    I can’t count how many things I see stolen off residents porches and from their homes on their security cameras, that I see online per day. Many think that just because their package said delivered through the PO or UPS, that it may have ended up at a neighbors house by mistake, but it’s not that at all 90% of the time! These THIEVES are taking things left and right and police do ZIP about it. One woman in in NE Bend is caught on at least 10 cameras that I’ve seen alone!
    Yeah, sorry I don’t buy that all that trash is taken out and dumped on “their” locations. I call BS on that.

    1. So let me get this straight — people travel into town to steal garbage bags with toilet paper that’s used and rotten food and then take it to dump it in China Hat bc they are houseless and apparently that’s what houseless do? 🙄🤣😯

        1. I am sure some are drug addicts just as some in town in homes are. 🤷‍♀️ I’m not denying that some are not upstanding but some are. The conclusion that trash from the people in home is bc people on drugs stole trash of zero value is laughable…most drug addicts wouldn’t go stealing others trash. They’d be more prone to steal things of actual value that can be a quick turn around.

  7. I think the article should have included exactly what makes them think residents of Bend are the primary contributors of the trash out there. Not saying it is or isn’t accurate, but this might be good details to provide to convince the community.

    1. It’s awesome that they came out to do a clean up. I have seen some that live out there do clean up of sites but I’ve also seen where some bad eggs have left a mess.I have seen people who come to recreate leave trash and those from town dumping. I have went out there to enjoy myself and personally seen someone from town (presumably by the expensive vehicle)appear to be dumping!There’s good and bad everywhere! I think those who keep their areas clean and don’t cause trouble should be left alone! Bend is expensive. There are several people living there bc credit issues or low income but that work. There are people that work multiple jobs. There are people in careers that we rely on for our safety and health who have been displaced bc they can’t afford it here anymore! It’s awesome these people kept it real for once and done something to help the community. I also think it’s great they donate to Bethlehem Inn. That’s a great program where people have to have jobs after five weeks and be saving money or they aren’t allowed to stay there. They do however have like a three month or four month limit before they kick them out so if they can’t find a place to go they are on the streets/China Hat,etc. I may live in bend in a place and be blessed but I’m realistic life can always throw me a curve ball and I could be without a home. Again, there are good and bad in town just the same as in houseless communities such as China Hat.

  8. Too bad our community can’t figure out a way to make refuse disposal at the dump free. Also make it free to dispose of the harder to get rid of items like old boats, tires, and rotted out RV’s as examples. If you make it easier to do it right rather than do it wrong, I believe the majority of folks would follow that route.

      1. you can’t just dump these things anymore. it all needs to be disposed of and reclaimed and reused. That is a lot of beaks that need to get wet along the way.

  9. Nice! Guess their health is such a priority. Wonder where they are going to the bathroom at? This is completely unsanitary. And I do agree that people do drop off tons of stuff to the vagrants, they are not just dumping it. But the main people to blame are liberal policies that have never worked and the vagrants themselves. The community is not the problem here at all.

  10. Great effort by all. Not sure about Deschutes county, but some Oregon counties have “dump stopper” enforcement programs, typically funded as a partnership with the county, BLM, and Forest service. Volunteers willing to help clean areas could/should be included as well. There are certainly violators from town who dump trash outside city limits to avoid the dump fees, but the trash left behind by campers out there in the last few years is unprecedented. A little more enforcement visibility out that way would be a good thing.

  11. People have been dumping refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, one time I found an entire shower from someone’s house, boats, derelict campers, entire camps of stuff abandoned. It’s a layered issue but you would be a fool to think that it’s caused only by homeless people, drug addicts, democrats, republicans, Californians etc. so save it. I’ve lived here my whole life and a lot of people dump a lot of trash out there.

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