Metro and partners helped boat owners properly dispose of 107 boats through a temporary boat turn-in program offering free boat disposal. After six months of operation, the program is closed and is no longer accepting applications.
The boat turn-in program was in partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol. Funding came from the 2022 Oregon Legislature House Bill 5202, which was created to address waste impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding has enabled Metro and partners to also tackle public dumping, graffiti and abandoned vehicles.
The program helped boat owners to dispose of unwanted, unseaworthy, damaged or poor condition boats. When these end-of-life boats are given away or sold for a low price, they often end up abandoned or dumped in waterways and public spaces.
Dorothy Diehl was the policy program coordinator at the Oregon State Marine Board who helped process the boat turn-in applications. Diehl said the program had a significant emotional impact for those who applied.
“A lot of the people who used the program were turning in boats that had belonged to their father or husband who passed away, and he had been in the process of working on it, so the boat wasn’t just “trash” to them, but disposing of it was really the only thing that made sense,” Diehl said.
“These customers felt good about doing “the right thing” with their loved one’s boat, and they felt appreciated and respected throughout the process.”