Employees at Allagash Brewing Company buy crepes every Thursday from Lauren Dallam's Cafe Crepe food truck. Credit: Kathleen Pierce / BDN

PORTLAND — Food trucks could be banned from parking on Portland’s Eastern Prom if a solution isn’t found to reduce the amount of trash that’s piling up in the area.

“We know it’s a problem,” Vy Bahn Mi Owner Minh Ngyuen said. “We see the trash overflow and stuff.”

“High volume areas, lots of trash,” Saltbox Café Owner Matthew Glatz said.

Since the pandemic hit, food truck owners say more people have been flocking to the prom and it’s difficult to manage how they dispose of their trash.

“I think a lot of this is on the people of Portland and the city, because we’re providing our trash cans, we’re all adults here and we need to learn to pick up our trash properly,” George’s North Shore Owner Logan Abbey said.

“To expect them to bring their trash back to us is a huge expectation and we don’t really have any way to control that,” Glatz said.

Glatz wakes up early on the weekends to pick up trash, filling one to two bags each day.

“Litter that’s either fallen out of recycling cans and trash cans or has just been left in the playground,” Glatz said.

“When we see trash around, we pick it up,” Minhngyen said. “Like I said, we don’t want to be the problem.”

The spokesperson for the city of Portland says they just added more big-belly trash cans to the prom.

“We do collect daily, but even with a daily collection right now, we’ve been seeing them overflow,” Portland Spokesperson Jessica Grondin said.

“I’m very happy to see more trash cans up here,” Glatz said. “Time will tell if it’s enough.”

Grondin says they aren’t looking to ban food trucks right now, but it could come to that.

“If things continue to get worse and there’s no solutions being found certainly, we might have to look into it further,” Grondin said.

Food truck owners say losing this parking spot would be a huge hit to their business.

“We don’t like that decision,” Minhngyen said. “It’s a good community here. It’s a good location here.”

“It’s short-sighted to be honest,” Glatz said. “It’s not the food trucks’ fault that there’s more people coming out here.”

“We all are down here grinding every day,” Abbey said. “It’s not like we need the added stress of losing our best space in Portland because some citizens don’t want to throw their trash in the trash can.”

The spokesperson for the city of Portland says it’s also up to the public to help out.