Stash the Trash is Back!

Dakota from CRBC refills a stand at the Barton Mercantile store.

Clackamas, OR – After a busy Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Clackamas River basin Council reminds river users to please Stash the Trash when recreating along the Clackamas River. Every summer, the Clackamas River Basin Council brings out their free reusable bags and stocks them on bags stands at popular Clackamas River recreation sites and boat docks.

The Clackamas River is an increasingly popular destination for all types of recreation. With the multiple boat ramps, fishing access, and fun floating opportunities, river users flock to the Clackamas every summer to beat the heat. With the thousands of recreationists who enjoy the river, one thing is often left behind: loads of trash and recycling that litter beaches and the riverbed.

In 2006, the Clackamas River Basin Council came together with partners and volunteers to create the Stash the Trash program to address the rise in trash. With their bright yellow color, these reusable trash bags encourage river users to pack out what they brought in. In partnership with Clackamas County, Oregon State Parks, and the River Ambassadors, the Clackamas River Basin Council distributes approximately 6,000 Stash the Trash bags annually between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

This program that once had five Stash the Trash bag stands now has twelve stands, with two sites within Milo McIver State Park, a stand at Barton County Park, Barton Convenience Store, Carver Boat Ramp, Cross Park and Riverside Park. Bag stands can also be found at 5 stands accessible only by boat or tube, with hopes of adding one more at a private property site on Goat Island.

The Clackamas River Basin Council partners with We Love Clean Rivers to keep an eye on the levels of trash found in the river year round. Now that the recreation season is kicking off, the amount of human caused debris in natural areas will increase, but the presence of these bags will make it easier for folks to pack out their trash. The Clackamas River Basin Council and We Love Clean Rivers organize the annual Down the River Cleanup after recreation season, with this year’s event taking place September 10, 2023. The cleanup has drawn hundreds of volunteers and removed nearly 45 tons of trash from the river since 2004.

“We really hope that having these bags stocked and ready will make it easy and sensible to take your trash out with you,” says Amy Barton, Communications and Stewardship Manager at the Clackamas River Basin Council. “These yellow bags are a great reminder to pack in, pack out and to leave the river better than you found it.”

This work is strengthened by volunteers in the community like Tina Johnson, who goes out on the Clackamas with a group of friends and replenishes bags weekly as well as collects trash along river banks and around stands. These dedicated volunteers are helping to reduce the impact of recreation.

The Clackamas River is a drinking source for more than 300,00 people, as well as a home for a wide and diverse array of wildlife, including several species of threatened and endangered fish. When we leave trash in and around the river, it puts these animals at further risk, takes away from the natural scenic beauty of the river, and threatens the drinking water quality for families all throughout the Metro area.

Stash the Trash is funded by Clackamas River Water Providers, Clackamas County Parks, Clackamas County Sustainability & Solid Waste Program, Warn Industries, Dump Stoppers, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon State Parks, We Love Clean Rivers, Water Environment Services, Bottle Drop and the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative.

For more information contact Dakota Hufford at or 503-303-4372 x 101

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