Questions? Try our FAQs below! If you can't find the answer you're looking for, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-844-9571 or 800-333-7658. Thank you for your interest in SOLVE and commitment to your community!
History & General Information
Waste Recycling & Enforcement
Teachers & Students
History & General Information
SOLV Used to be an acronym for Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism, the “E” has been added to address a call to action. SOLVE as an action verb, deploying tens of thousands of volunteers to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. SOLV has Evolved and will continue to do so as we move forward.
Each year SOLVE provides resources to communities throughout Oregon, focusing on litter cleanup, tree planting, and invasive removal projects. There are SOLVE projects in every county in Oregon. SOLVE creates an average of 35,000 volunteer opportunities across the state annually.
We value every dollar donated to SOLVE and pledge to use all contributions wisely to meet SOLVE's mission: Bring Oregonians together to improve the environment and build a legacy of stewardship. We receive our funding from a variety of sources including individual donors, corporate sponsors, foundations and contracts.
SOLVE programs and activities are currently managed by 13 talented and dedicated staff members. We've come a long way since 1969, when SOLVE was established by Tom McCall and other community leaders. Until 1990 SOLVE was run and operated by volunteers. That year, SOLVE hired its first part-time Executive Director, Jack McGowan. Jack led the organization for 18 years, employing a model that provides volunteer leadership around the state with the professional resources provided by the staff. Those volunteer leaders in turn oversee the on-the-ground activities of tens of thousands of volunteers each year.
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) employee Judie Hansen and Eleanor Dye of the Oregon Sanitary Service Institute (Now the Oregon Refuse & Recycling Association) decided to do something to rid the state’s beaches of litter. So in 1984 Oregon led the world with the first statewide volunteer coastal cleanup ever.
These coastal cleanups are now spring and fall traditions for thousands of Oregonians. On average 7000 volunteers pick up over 50 tons of litter and marine debris from the Oregon Coast Each Year.
Common items found on Oregon’s coast such as six-pack can carriers, fishing line, and netting which entangle and kill hundreds of seabirds, fish, and mammals each year. Litter fouls boat propellers, clogs engines and contributes to the degradation of our beaches. It also puts a damper on coastal tourism and the local economy.
You can complete a SOLVE Waiver electronically when you register for a project online.
If you need to print a paper waiver, Please click here for an electronic version.
Yes, we provide online registration for groups for all of our programs.
Groups are always welcome at the Spring Beach Cleanup and Beach and Riverside Cleanup. Please call SOLVE for groups of 20 or more.
If you are interested in organizing your own group project, check out our Oregon Adopt-A-River, Project Oregon, or Keep it Pretty, Rose City (for Portland area litter cleanups) programs.
For a recommendation on a project for your group, please contact Quintin at email@example.com or call 503.844.9571.
SOLVE works to provide volunteer opportunities for everyone. If you are interested in a volunteer opportunity, please look at our calendar of events or call Larissa Gordon at 503-844-9571 ext.332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes. SOLVE manages a wide range of programs throughout the year, which encourages and supports volunteerism all over our state. You can volunteer for a single day at an event like the Beach Cleanup, or make a longer commitment and volunteer through programs like Oregon Adopt-A-River. We encourage you to sign up for our free monthly e-Updates located on the SOLVE homepage, which list upcoming volunteer opportunities. Here is what is happening this month.
There are also Volunteer Action Training opportunities for those interested in organizing and leading their own projects.
SOLVE encourages everyone to volunteer! Our projects bring together people of all ages, from all ethnic, social, economic and geographic areas to enhance our communities, and natural areas, and to build a sense of community that unites us all as Oregonians. SOLVE has opportunities for nearly everybody. Here is just a small sample of some the groups we work with: families, AmeriCorps members, students, civic groups, businesses, faith-based organizations, government agencies and citizens who need to fulfill community service hours.
You can organize your own project at any time as a SOLVE Volunteer Leader through:
Adopt-a-River, Project Oregon, and Keep it Pretty, Rose City (Portland litter cleanups). To submit a Volunteer Leader Application, click here.
Many of our projects are led by volunteer Site Coordinators. If you’d like to take charge, please read about our programs for information on duties involved.
Coastwide Zone Captains and Beach Captains: Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup (March), Beach & Riverside Cleanup (September) – Contact Jon Schmidt at email@example.com; SOLVE IT Earth Day event Site Coordinators, held Statewide in April – Contact Quintin Bauer, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOLVE offers small grant funds through our Project Oregon and Keep it Pretty, Rose City programs. Project Oregon offers Oregon citizens the planning support and resources needed to organize and carry out a litter cleanup, tree planting, invasive removal, or restoration site maintenance and monitoring project. Keep it Pretty, Rose City offers Portlanders to come together and care for their neighborhoods by picking up harmful litter and debris. SOLVE provides active staff assistance, small grants, and limited help with planning, organizing, and recruiting volunteers, project materials, and recognition. When available, SOLVE provides grants of up to $100 for on-the-ground project expenses such as disposal fees, supplies, equipment rental, gloves, safety vests, plants and planting supplies, and recycling and trash receptacles. Applications are accepted at any time.
Other programs offer a combination of funding and group services, such as dumpsters or portable restrooms to help offset costs.
Improve your volunteer leadership and community project management skills! Our comprehensive Volunteer Action Training is provided free of charge! If you don’t find a scheduled opportunity in your community, contact Larissa Gordon, email@example.com. We may be able to schedule a special opportunity for a group in your area.
Waste Recycling & Enforcement
Did you see someone throwing litter out their window? Write down the license plate number, date, time, and location of the event. Typical traffic littering complaints are directed to an Oregon County or City authority.
No. Unlike Washington, Oregon does not have a statewide litter control hotline. You can instead file a formal complaint to your County or City authorities.
This depends on what county you live in. Please contact us if you need help.
SOLVE partners with neighbors, property owners, businesses, recreation advocates, civic, nonprofit, faith-based, community organizations and groups, and government agencies to remove waste and restore illegal dumpsites to their natural state throughout Oregon.
Illegal dumping is a serious problem that threatens the health of our watersheds, natural areas and communities. Illegal dumpsites are expensive to clean and damaged watersheds are difficult to restore. Wildlife such as deer and other large mammals can be restricted from accessing necessary water sources and can become trapped and entangled in debris.
SOLVE supports the cleanup of illegal dumpsites throughout the state of Oregon through our Project Oregon, SOLVE IT for Earth Day, Beach & Riverside Cleanup and Keep it Pretty, Rose City programs. SOLVE IT has dramatically reduced the number of illegal dumpsites in the greater Portland Metro area. Over the 25-year history of this Earth Day event, volunteers have removed more than 12 million pounds of debris from illegal dumpsites, neighborhoods and natural areas and over 41,000 illegally dumped tires have been recycled. Although there are many success stories of horrendous dumpsites that have been cleaned up in communities throughout Oregon, there is still much more work that needs to be done. Household garbage and construction waste continues to litter our magnificent forests, rivers, streams, beaches and desert lands. Public awareness and volunteer action are the best ways to combat this important issue.
Illegal and unsightly dumpsites are a major ongoing issue in many Oregon counties. Over the years, SOLVE has helped clean up thousands of tons of debris left in our environment. Fortunately, there are many organizations and agencies focusing on this problem. SOLVE, in partnership with citizen volunteers, government agencies and private companies, is committed to finding solutions through education and cleanups.
Please contact SOLVE for reporting options
If the illegal dumpsite is on public property, SOLVE supports citizens taking personal responsibility by coordinating a cleanup project or event. SOLVE operates programs such as Project Oregon and Keep it Pretty, Rose City which are designed for groups or individuals who organize their own cleanup or enhancement project. SOLVE has free materials, including trash bags, and can offer small grants, up to $100, to offset certain project expenses. This could include renting a drop box, hauling, or disposal fees. A great Project Planning & Reference Guide is available to project coordinators. If you are interested in organizing a cleanup project, please determine if the illegal dumpsite is on County, City, State Forest or Park land and fill out our Create Your own Event application online.
Teachers & Students
SOLVE offers Oregon teachers and youth a number of pre-organized one-day opportunities to join in cleanup and restoration events around the state. Students are invited to sign on as a class, a club, a group of friends, or to participate in these activities with their families. SOLVE provides documentation for students who need a record of their service hours:
Beach and Riverside Cleanup: Fall event where volunteers clean up the Oregon coast and inland sites
Spring Beach Cleanup: Spring event where thousands of volunteers clean up the entire Oregon coast.
SOLVE IT: (April) Annual Statewide Earth Day enhancement and cleanup event
Oregon Adopt-A-River: (year-round) Statewide adoption of a 2-mile stretch of an Oregon waterway; participants commit to two projects per year over two years
Project Oregon: Year-round volunteer-led projects. Activities include tree planting, invasive removal, litter cleanup and restoration site maintenance and monitoring.
Keep it Pretty, Rose City: Year-round volunteer and staff-led projects. Activities include litter pickup throughout Portland.
For current-year dates, or to register for any of these events, please visit our calendar.