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April 23, 2012

WiLDCOAST's Community-Driven Action to Address Trash in Tijuana Results in 4 TONS Removed from the TJ Watershed

by Paloma Aguirre

On Saturday April 21st, 2012 members from the Environmental Promoters (EP) group organized through the WiLDCOAST-Tijuana Calidad de Vida Project Cañon Limpio in Los Laureles canyon, led their first community cleanup.  Trained in methods on how to create a community-based project, the EP's planned organized and carried out their first cleanup in Los Laureles, Tijuana.

After welcoming the participants and giving a safety talk the EP's lead about 40 participants to a cleanup site in an area called La Divina. Unfortunately, because of its secluded nature this area has turned into a favorite dumping site for outside illegal dumpers. EP's visited some of the few homes adjacent to the site. Door by door a group of six promoters talked with the some of the area's local residents. “We are a volunteer group who are working to make this place better” said Alma one of the EP's to a young lady who opened her door. “We have a cleanup going now and we invite you to join” 

Watch the EP's in action here (spanish)

“They come at night, when we don't see them” said Olga a mother of two who opened her door to the EP's “I hear their trucks come at night and dump their trash here”. After hearing this, Alma one of the EP's promptly offered to provide her phone number to create a neighborhood watch to begin a collecting data on where/when and who dumps at these types of sites. This data can potential serve in assisting enforcing agencies into action.

After working for 3 hours the participants removed a total of 4 tons of trash and waste which would have otherwise ended up in the ocean.