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What's Up With all the Trash Along Hwy 1 and Our Coast?

Trash littering our coast is at an all time high, especially along Hwy 1. How do we combat this problem?

I have a question for all coastside residents, city council members, county officials and visitors to the area: What is up with all the trash that people are throwing out their windows on Highway 1, or leaving on the sides of the road and our beaches?

I drove from Moss Beach to Colma BART this morning, and Highway 1 was lined with ugly garbage along the entire route. This is the worst I have seen this problem in years. Is it time for a community or public education campaign on litter? Should we teach our young people better values at the school by having them pick up garbage one or more days a year? Do we need public signage that asks people to do better - "keep the coastside beautiful", and America for that matter. Should we have public fines for littering?

I was embarrassed as well, when I got on BART this morning and a couple from a European country who were visiting asked me why people throw down their trash when they live in such a beautiful place - was this a cultural thing in this area? They were astonished at how much garbage was on the side of the roads. I also am astonished. What do others on the coastside think and how do we motivate our city and county representatives to help us do something to improve this situation?

And, as a side point, widening Hwy 1 at Pacifica can only make this problem worse, as it will encourage people to treat the area as another piece of the freeway. This isn't the way to cultivate small town values and community, nor a healthier, cleaner place to live.

Honestly, how do we fix the ugly trash dumping problem? I picked up two grocery-size bags of garbage - water bottles, clothing, fastfood packaging, plastic bags, etc. two weeks ago in Montara. This isn't just a tourist problem, there are locals who drop trash as well and don't bother to pick it up, including plastic dog poop bags. Do we want people to come here and think they can trash the place with nothing said or done? This is our home and we should have more respect and treat it with care, and insist on respect for the place from visitors.

Thank you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Edward sawacki September 12, 2012 at 05:25 PM
The problem is people from out of town coming to Pacifica to visit our town. I have seen it first hand at Sharp Park Beach. People come with all there "Stuff" have a great day and leave there garbage behind. I have even seen people kick the trash out of their way to make room on the beach. I was so disgusted and angry. I calmly went over and picked up the trash and gave them that "look" I hope they got the message but sadly people have this mentality that if its not there town its not there problem.
Mary Del September 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I've been depressed by the litter for months. Could it be our garbage company letting things fly out of the trucks? Coastal cleanup day is Saturday. Let's pick up some garbage.
K. Williams September 15, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Yes, coastal cleanup day is a great opportunity to contribute and make this a better place to live. But it is just one day of awareness and action. What about all the other days? Based on the lack of conversation around this topic, I am guessing that everyone is waiting for someone else to take responsibility, come up with solutions and take care of it for them. We all need to take responsibility for keeping our home clean. It takes everyone, not just one or two. To encourage people to do better and to take part, lots of people have to begin the conversation and express an expectation. I'm guessing most people a clean, healthy place to live - it shouldn't be a difficult topic to talk about.

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