Massive amounts of trash collected from Greenway sweeps

Central Point, Ore. — Earlier this week, NBC5 News gave you exclusive access to the Bear Creek Greenway sweep. Those sweeps bring in tons of trash and cost local agencies a lot of cash.

In past sweeps, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has seen trash several hundred yards out. This time, was no different.

“We did a Greenway sweep to get the Greenway cleared before the Jackson County Fair,” said Captain Tim Snaith, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said it finds everything on the sweeps from drug paraphernalia, to clothing, and just plain garbage from the population living on the Greenway.

“Anything we identify as waste, or trash, we put into the dumpsters and they’re taken off to the dump,” he said.

The big question: Who pays for it? The sheriff’s office said whichever agency is taking jurisdiction over the sweep – that’s who foots the bill.

“Protocol that we’re using now with this inter-agency Greenway sweep that we’re doing is we’re breaking up the Greenway into segments at a time so we can manage it more consistently and efficiently.”

This week, the focus was primarily on areas near the Jackson County Fair. Those areas fall under the City of Medford’s jurisdiction. The city’s parks and recreation department said it took a 27-yard dumpster to haul away the trash that cost the city more than $400.

“It varies from a hundred yards of trash, there have been years where we’ve had more than 200 yards of trash,” he said.

While the sheriff’s office said it often comes across hazardous items including feces and other bodily fluids it understands the Greenway is home to many and it does its best to respect that.

“We try not to throw anyone’s valuables out, anything that’s considered trash is thrown away but we do take steps – we do our diligence to make sure we’re not throwing people’s property out,” he said.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said it plans to do another large multi-agency sweep before the Country Crossings Music Festival.

NBC5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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