Toxic campers brought out the HazMat Squad for a cleanup not far from the Springwater Trail

DAVID F. ASHTON - Neighbors at the scene of the campsite picked up items that had been dropped by the trash removal team. People living near S.E. Umatilla Street west of 45th Avenue, in the area shared by the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek and Woodstock neighborhoods, called THE BEE on January 11 to report a "hazardous material" clean-out in progress at a transient campsite along the unpaved road.

The property, now owned by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, has become a transient campsite, even though signs are posted in the area advising, "NO Dumping, NO Trespassing, NO Camping, NO Motorized Vehicles."

By 10 a.m. that morning, Portland police officers were watching as a crew from a commercial trash removal company completely filled a large stake-bed truck parked across the rutted road from two RVs.

While it wasn't an official "haz-mat" clean-up – those are done by an elite team of highly-trained Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters – mounds of possibly hazardous trash were removed that morning. And, four days later, the site was still vacant – for the time being.

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