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Big Beach Trash Heap Contains Meth-Making Chemicals

This Saturday, a South Beach resident found a 1,500 pound pile of trash dumped on the beach south of Newport. The debris included hazardous chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine.

Charlie Plybon was taking a walk on the beach near his home when he came across what looked like a pile of wood and pallets. On closer inspection, he found 2 dozen black bags of trash under partially burned debris. Plybon is Oregon Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation. He says among the household garbage he found bleach, butane, lye and other chemicals associated with cooking meth.

“Toxic waste on our beaches is not something I’m willing to put up with and I don’t believe that Oregonians should have to put up with.”

Plybon says he’d like to see more barriers to beach access for vehicles since it was clear the trash didn’t get walked onto the beach. Making meth is a crime and dumping garbage is a misdemeanor under Oregon law. Plybon says making it a felony might be more of a detraction for dumpers. 

Plybon says he wanted to get the trash off the beach before high tide Saturday. He contacted the State Department of Parks and Recreation who came out with a pickup truck. Plybon also had help from neighbors in the cleanup efforts. 

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Credit Charlie Plybon / Surfrider Foudation
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Surfrider Foudation
Charlie Plybon says it looked like the trash dumpers tried to burn the pile that included chemicals used in meth production.

Surfrider is holding beach cleanups next Saturday:

Surfrider Newport Beach Cleanup, Feb 15th at 11 am - Agate Beach Wayside

Surfrider Coos Bay Beach Cleanup, Feb 15th at 11 am - Bastendorff Beach

Surfrider North Coast Cleanup, Feb 15th at 11 am - Laneda Ave in Manzanita

Surfrider Portland Cleanup, Feb 15th at 10:30 am - Cosube 111 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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