Saturday morning twenty-five enthusiastic volunteers helped pull 38 pounds of trash out of Permanente Creek and its surrounding area. GreenTown Los Altos organized this effort in support of the International Coastal Clean Up Day.
Interestingly, all but 2 pounds of the trash collected was recyclable. That 2 pounds included 300 cigarette and a dozen cigar butts, which we kept from flowing into the San Francisco Bay. When rain comes, like it did this past weekend, trash tossed into the streets flows into nearby creeks that carry it into the Bay and eventually the ocean.
Cigarette butts are one of the worst types of toxins in our waterways and consequently are the focus of collection by environmentalists around the Bay. Butts are made of plastic and contain several toxins that do not biodegrade. Aquatic critters mistake floating trash as food but it is a deadly morsel. After the animal dies, the cigarette butt may continue killing more creatures when the poisoned animal is in turn consumed by detritus feeders. Save the Bay organization estimates that over 3 billion cigarettes butts litter our landscapes every year, many of which kill wildlife. Read more here http://blog.savesfbay.org/2013/09/we-all-deserve-a-butt-free-bay/.
Here are statistics on the clean up efforts staged in Santa Clara County:
I want to thank all the site coordinators for the great work today, despite the rain in some areas. This event would not happen without your help.
GreenTown Los Altos Environmental Advocate