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Trash left at abandoned homeless encampments becoming a costly problem, police say

Bangor Police and outreach services visited some abandoned homeless encampments along the Kenduskeag Stream Trail

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Police and outreach services visited some abandoned homeless encampments along the Kenduskeag Stream Trail Thursday.

Officials say they routinely check to see if anybody has moved back into the site so they can connect with them with services and help.

Bangor Police Sergeant Wade Betters said they also assess all of the trash and waste that is left behind and figure out how it can be cleaned up.

Some of the trash gets pushed down the bank toward the river making it more difficult for the city or private landowners to deal with.

Betters said, "Unfortunately, what we see is a lot of that donated supply ultimately gets ruined. Sometimes within just a few days. Things get wet, they get contaminated, and people just leave it on the ground. So the city or the private landowner is ultimately left footing the bill to clean that up and, it’s not an easy job because there are a lot of biohazards and human waste.

Betters said he’d like to see some of the money people donate on supplies and gear to be directed towards temporary housing in hotels or apartments.