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October Clean Sweep: Volunteers Picked Up 36,000+ Pounds of Trash!

Update: with the addition of our last cleanup of the month, sponsored by Beckman Coulter, the grand total for October is 36,000 pounds of trash and debris!

Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Community Events Coordinator, Lexi Ambrogi!

If you’ve visited the I Love A Clean San Diego office in the past month, there’s a good chance you’ve had to navigate your way through towering stacks of buckets or gotten a good laugh at the mountain of boxes at my desk. Since Coastal Cleanup Day, the ILACSD Community Events department hasn’t had much of a breather—we’ve hosted a cleanup every single weekend in October! Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to.

This month, we co-hosted two cleanups alongside our friends at WiLDCOAST. These events were part of Tijuana River Action Month, a bi-national effort to clean up and protect the Tijuana watershed. We chose locations that are in a particularly high-risk location for debris collection. This area of San Diego lies on a floodplain, and trash from both sides of the border washes into this part of the Tijuana River Valley. Our mission was to remove as much of this trash as possible from the surrounding trails before the winter rains wash it out to the Pacific, where it would be harmful—even deadly—to marine life.

Between these two cleanups, our amazing volunteers pulled 7,940 pounds of trash and 12,660 of recyclables! Trust me, if you want an excuse to skip the gym on a Saturday morning, just come to one of our cleanups. Our volunteers filled up an entire dumpster this weekend in just over two hours. We collected 100 tires from the first TRAM cleanup and another 280 this past weekend—seriously impressive.

We had a fun side project at last weekend’s event; some volunteers elected to participate in Storm Drain Stenciling Day, a program that’s available year-round to ILACSD volunteers thanks to the City of San Diego’s Think Blue. We gave volunteers a stencil with a stormwater pollution prevention message (“No dumping—goes to ocean”), some paint, and a map, and they were off on a treasure hunt around the neighborhoods, looking for drains to mark.

Two weeks ago, ILACSD and the City of Chula Vista hosted the 10th Annual Beautify Chula Vista Day at four sites throughout the city. 600 volunteers collected 4,200 pounds of trash and recyclables! They also wiped out graffiti and removed 8,700 pounds of invasive plants from the trails.

Up next on our schedule is a cleanup in Ramona in conjunction with America Recycles Day on November 15 which we are hosting with the County of San Diego. This nationwide event from our friends at Keep America Beautiful gets bigger every year, and we’d love to see you join us for this creek cleanup in a beautiful part of San Diego County. You can email me at to get involved. Hope to see you there!


  1. Congratulations SD. Bravo to Oct Clean Sweeep volunteers. Im glad Chula Vista will even cleaner the next time I visit. Here are some photos of International Clean Up events I participated in Vermont.

    And here is one of my personal October Clean up walks in my Vermont neighborhood. Litter Picking is a fun, addictive, challenging, family oriented, soul refreshing, community based year round activity.
    *Check out the unusual Leaf I found in the leaf litter.

    Bernie Paquette
    (sometimes missing Ramona and Escondido)

  2. Thanks for sharing these! We’re actually heading to Ramona in a few weeks to host an America Recycles Day event 🙂

  3. How can one go about requesting a clean up be done in Chula Vista alongside the MTS Trolley Tracks. It has become a Real Eyesore in my daily commute.

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