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City Surpasses 600 Tons of Debris Cleared from Streets and Riverbeds in Just Six Months

Expanded Cleanup Efforts Through New Mayoral Program & Bolstered Sanitation Efforts Aim to Keep Neighborhoods Clean and Safe



Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – As part of an ongoing effort to keep San Diego neighborhoods clean and safe, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today announced that more than 600 tons of trash have been cleared from streets, sidewalks and riverbeds over the past six months. The City’s regular cleanup efforts were expanded earlier this year with a new program and then grew once again to combat the hepatitis A outbreak.

“We are taking our efforts to keep San Diego neighborhoods clean and safe to the next level,” Mayor Faulconer said. “By removing trash and debris, we are restoring pride in our neighborhoods and removing the unsanitary conditions so that our public spaces can be enjoyed by all.”

Mayor Faulconer included $800,000 in this year’s budget to launch a new initiative to keep public areas clean. As a result the City now provides increased litter cleanup and graffiti removal in several neighborhoods, including Ocean Beach, City Heights, San Ysidro, Logan Heights, Paradise Hills, Webster & Mount Hope, Mission Beach, Point Loma and Pacific Beach.

In addition, the City’s Environmental Services Department has long conducted weekly waste abatements to remove trash and other debris from neighborhoods. Efforts are currently focused on the downtown area with special emphasis on the East Village based on observed need. An average of eight tons of waste is removed from sidewalks and other public right-of-ways each week.

“With the Council’s recent declaration of a homeless shelter crisis and increased trash clean-up in the City of San Diego including communities in the Fourth Council District, the City and the County are taking critical, necessary steps to adequately respond to the hepatitis A outbreak,” said City Council President Myrtle Cole.

With a number of San Diego’s homeless population living along the San Diego River, the City has also focused on conducting sanitation efforts along the riverbed. City crews have removed 12 tons of waste from the riverbed over the past week. Additional cleanup activities are planned over the coming weeks as part of the ongoing regional effort to stop the spread of the hepatitis A virus.

These river cleanups complement existing year-round efforts by the City to reduce waste and preserve the environmentally-sensitive habitat. Each abatement can produce anywhere from five to 20 tons of waste.

“Headway is being made on cleaning up San Diego’s communities,” said City Councilmember Lorie Zapf. “I appreciate Mayor Faulconer’s leadership in addressing the San Diego River area and look forward to collaborating to further address more cleanups.”

As part of an annual contract with the San Diego River Foundation, the City funds weekly river inspections and an annual inspection that covers the length of the river. The River Park Foundation removed more than 66 tons of trash and debris from the river bed so far this year. It is estimated that 90 percent of trash and debris can be attributed to homeless individuals living near the river.

The City has similar contracts with Alpha Project and I Love a Clean San Diego that led to three cleanups in the San Diego River last year.

Overall citywide cleanup efforts are credited with removing 600 tons of debris – enough to fill more than 8,000 average residential trash bins – in about six months.

CONTACT: Christina Chadwick at (619) 727-9758 or [email protected]

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