The following was sent to JP a couple days ago.
At the Encinitas City Council meeting on 6/27/07 the Parks & Rec staff acknowledged that on busy weekends, holiday weekends and summer days the trash cans at our beaches are overflowing. Go to Moonlight Beach on a Sunday morning and the trash is oozing all over and the seagulls are picking through it, spreading it even further afield. It has been like this for years. Here is a photo from 2002. Not July 4th weekend, but June 16th 2002.
Here are recommendations in the 2002 Blue Ribbon Environment Committee report: “Increase the number of trashcans and/or frequency of collection at Moonlight Beach. During peak use periods the trashcans are filled to overflowing. Currently these overflowing trashcans are left overnight, resulting in the scattering of litter by seagulls and other wildlife before the trash is collected in the morning. A final, late day trash collection should be instituted, rather than, or in addition to, the current early morning trash collection… In addition, the number of trash cans could be increased during peak use periods and reduced during low use periods.” And there is an entire recommendation on Public Recycling that includes suggestions for the beaches. Okay, so they did start recycling at Moonlight Beach and other parks – it is those blue metal trash cans with a dinky recycling section on top.
They look like this:
I wonder if people are even aware that is for recycling –the signage is awful. People are generally lazy about recycling, so we need to encourage people and have good signage and a lot of obvious bins. And the capacity is very small - any volume of people and those things are overflowing.
So here we are in 2007 (that is FIVE years later) and the Parks and Rec folks propose to try and reduce the trash from 4th of July holiday beachgoers. They have some signs and two kinds of plastic bags – one for trash and one for recycling. The idea as far as I understand it is that people take bags when they arrive, fill them up while they are there, and when they leave deposit them into trash cans or recycling receptacles (are there any besides those little top sections on the blue metal cans?...because a bag certainly won’t fit in there). If cans are full, which of course they will be, people should deposit their bags on the ground next to the cans. Well, yes that is better than just trash and recycling items placed directly on the ground, but how about this for an idea? INCREASE the NUMBER of trash cans and put out some DECENT SIZED recycling receptacles, and INCREASE THE FREQUENCY of pickups during busy periods.
A visit to Moonlight Beach this morning shows that there are FOUR blue metal trash cans with recycling on top for the whole beach area (2 of these are against the food kiosk and one is at the volleyball courts, that leaves ONE for the entire sandy beach area!). There are quite a few other just trash cans at the beach. There are also 3 of these trash/recycling cans around the playground and two in the lawn area going east from the playground).
Yes, I know it would cost more to provide more trash and recycling receptacles and to increase the frequency of pick-ups – but don’t you think keeping our beaches clean and keeping trash out of the ocean is worth it? Encinitas is all about the beaches and the ocean - it is our jewel. When pressed at the City Council meeting by Houlihan and Barth about expanding the proposed July 4th plastic bag recycling program to other beaches (like Beacons, which often has overflowing trash cans) and to other times of year, Parks and Rec said that, well, “We’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.” What is there to figure out? Isn’t keeping trash off the beach and out of the ocean a no brainer? Isn’t increasing recycling and reducing our waste a no brainer? I just don’t get it.
Some recycling receptacles are not that expensive.
How about this? The City could even sell advertising on them and MAKE money.