Sunday, 24 February 2013

Natural and Un-Natural Trash

The Clean-Up Crew
Today, the 24th of February, we had a clean-up in Salton City at the Beach, south of Johnson's Landing, north of the Old Yacht Club - working our way slowly but surely down the coastline.

Eleven people showed up, most of whom I had never met before, which was great! It was also very nice to see familiar faces. Ages ranged from 7 and up.

It was quite windy, which made it difficult to start a new trash bag, it whipping in the wind and being unruly. Once the heavier stuff came in, such as glass bottles or some of the hard indefinable plastics, it weighed it down just fine. But then of course you have to carry said bag. Otherwise a pretty day.

One of the volunteers was a kid named Dominic and for a brief period of time we went around together and it was fun showing him the difference between natural and unnatural and what we should pick up and what we can leave behind. The purple balloon remnant with long purple string? Pick up. Blue hard plastic? Pick up. Plastic bottles? Oh yes, pick those up too. Bird Bone? Leave behind. As a very general rule, if it is man-made, pick it up. It doesn't decompose like natural items and is not part of the natural eco-system and natural cycle.
Apart from the fact that it is ugly. And a spot that is ugly and trashed invites more ugliness. It is said that people are more likely to dump in areas where there is already trash. And not only that, wildlife may attempt and often do try to feed on it or accidentally swallow the items. Dominic had a lot of fun. At only seven, he certainly made a huge impact and ran around picking up so many items and would not let anyone help him carry even the heavy stuff.  

Dominic and Manuel
We filled up a trailer with an assortment of goods ranging from thin and thick Styrofoam, thick and thin cardboard, half a table, a massive wire spool, the aforementioned indefinable hard plastics, the usual glass and plastic bottles and cans - including two Coors cans that would have had pull-off tabs....

Can anyone tell me how long ago it is since they used pull-off tabs for beer cans?

We do find a lot of random 'old stuff' not just in the way of old beer can's but other old tin cans, old glass bottles, parts of swimming pools and swimming pool accessories, and remnants of tires, wires and old electronics encrusted in salt, mud, muck and barnacles. The Salton Sea was at the height of its popularity in the 50-70's and with that came the objects that facilitated recreation and fun. The floods in the late seventies covered all these items up and now as the sea is beginning to recede, they are coming to light again. As though a time capsule was opening its doors.

I am curious about the weight of all the items we collected today and I hoping to find out the total weight on Tuesday when I bring the trash to the dump. Here in Salton City, our local dump is closed Sundays and Mondays, meaning I have to wait until Tuesday to bring it down.

Some of the volunteers found out about it through the flyer that I put into the local paper, West Shores News and I was told that Junior Ramirez was instrumental for passing on the message and rounding up his crew! Nice one Junior!

Here's the list of the Clean-Up Crew: (and I hope I get it right - reading other people's spelling is not always so easy...):

Thank you to George Mohoff, Manuel Cassilo, Tina Culp, Dominic and Lola, Connie Jenkins, Junior Ramirez, Jim O'Brien, Andrew Lawrence, Terresa Sanchez, and Claudette Castillo. A huge massive cheers to Ed Hoffman, for kindly lending us his trailer!!!

Looking forward to doing one in March. More information to come.

Getting ready!

Manuel and George

Tina and Dominic

In the fields and in the trees


Trailer almost Full of Trash


  1. UPDATE!!

    Went to the dump today. And we arrived with 4,19 tonnes. And left with 3.9 tonnes, which comes up to 0.29 tonnes!!!


    I also have to add the fencing, cans and tires we picked up.

    This means we as a group did a total of roughly HALF A TONNE.

    Pretty neat!