Monday, 3 March 2014

February Beach Clean-Up, Bags of Smells and Burrtec

It was a very peaceful cloudy perfect morning at the Salton Sea on the 22nd February for the clean-up of the illegal dumpsite near the shoreline.

First off, I want to thank the helpers that were able to make it: Andrew Lawrence (Salton City/Murrietta), George Mohoff (Salton City), Jim Jones (Indio), Kerry F. Morrison (Fullerton), Lorraine Salas (Palm Desert) and Sandy Sierra (Niland).

 We were privileged to have Sandy with us - she is a reporter for the Imperial Valley Press and did an article on the clean-up. And furthermore, Sandy put on some gloves and dug right in! Thank you so much Sandy, for going way beyond your call of duty.

Here is the link to the article she wrote: 

(l-r) Andrew Lawrence, Sandy Sierra, Jim Jones

(l-r) Andrew Lawrence, Sandy Sierra, Jim Jones, Kerry F Morrison 

Jim Jones

Sandy Sierra

Lorraine Salas

As a reminder - the before and after shots:

After the clean-up, I took the van and trailer to the Salton City landfill to get rid of the items that we had gathered up.

Upon getting there, I was told that it would cost me $10.

Hang on! Since when do we pay extra to use our own local dump site? We already pay just under $80 taxes from the property tax to the Burrtec Salton City landfill.  I am told they have a new pricing structure, which apparently came into play on the 1st January, 2014 and the costs now depend on what the resident is bringing and the size of the load.

Then I am told that the reason that Burrtec have introduced these charges is that they are not able to cover their costs from the property taxes alone, they lose money, as the property tax also pays for the trash services 52 times a year. This is simply not true.

The $80 a year allows the resident to be able to use the landfill. This does NOT include the trash services where they come and collect from the house 52 a year. That is extra: about $336 a year on top of the property tax.

Not every resident who shows up at the dump site gets charged extra I am told. I was being charged for two reasons: For a start, as I was bringing in a trailer and because I was bringing in someone else's trash. "You should not go and clean someone else's trash".

So, we should just let it sit there and rot instead and blow into the Sea in an area in Salton City that is frequently visited by tourists and residents. Welcome.

It was a community, volunteer clean-up and it was an illegal dump site on the shoreline. Are Burrtec going to go and clean it? I would like to see the day that happens.

I firmly believe (and am not the only one and wrote about this): Trash begets more trash.

If we ARE able to make a difference to the community, why are we being told that we shouldn't? 

Illegal dumping will cost the perpetrator $2000, I am told.

As if that matters in a community with low-density residential areas. How often do the illegal dumpers get caught? Last time I went to the police with news of an illegal dumpsite, the cop treated me like a criminal and told me they don't have time for that.

Since the clean-ups have started on a more regular basis in 2012, the stretches of beach front where we have cleaned, have actually remained pretty nice.

Now, that Burrtec are charging for more of their services, it will invite even more illegal dumping to happen. The $10 charge does not actually cover a whole lot of trash.

In the end, they did not charge me, but next time, they will. It makes me so mad that such a large, profitable corporation as Burrtec have found yet another way to screw their local residents, who are already paying for their services.

And secondly, shouldn't they be encouraging community, volunteer-based behavior? I bring that question to the readers.

To finish on a more positive note:

Thank you to all the volunteers for coming to the clean-up! I always enjoy your company! Thank you Jim Jones for the beautiful lemons!And I thank Abraham Marquez at Imperial Visions for his support!! 

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