New Report Says Seattle Could Be Doing More To Clean Homeless Encampment Trash
February 25, 2020
According to a new report by the Seattle city auditor, the city could be doing more to deal with the mounting problem of trash around homeless encampments.
The auditor’s report emphasizes and recommends dealing with the problem in a proactive way. So far, the report argues, the city has been acting in a reactive way to the issue based on resident complaints.
The five overall steps that the auditor’s report recommends are:
- Track trash accumulation systematically
- Develop and implement strategies for persistent trash “hot spots”
- Protect urban streams and watersheds
- Improve needle recovery efforts
- Use best practices to deter metal theft
Among the report’s findings are that the current city strategy of using police to move the homeless off of streets can have unintended consequences, including driving homeless people to harder to reach areas where outreach providers have trouble finding them.
In response to the report, Mayor Durkan’s highlighted their own initiatives to tackle the encampment trash issue, including work from Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Parks and Recreation.