Volunteers clean the Madrone Channel in north Morgan Hill on Sept. 23, which was Coastal Cleanup Day in California. Photo courtesy of Valley Water

Events at 52 Central Coast sites on Coastal Cleanup Day, Sept. 23, resulted in the removal of a number of unusual discarded items, including an ATM machine, iMac computer, a counterfeit $100 bill, a sign declaring “Not a Through Street,” a Statue of Liberty figurine, credit cards, a driver’s license, a water heater and more, according to the water district the serves Santa Clara Valley. 

In all, cleanup events organized by Valley Water in Santa Clara County on Sept. 23 resulted in the pickup of about 24,076 pounds of garbage on roadsides, along water channels and other public properties, according to Meghan Azralon of Valley Water. That weight includes about 3,584 pounds of recyclable material that had been improperly discarded. 

About 1,100 volunteers participated in the 52 organized cleanup sites in Santa Clara County, Azralon added. Nearby cleanup sites included Madrone Channel and West Little Llagas Creek in Morgan Hill; Uvas Creek in Gilroy; and Valley Water’s headquarters on Almaden Expressway in San Jose. 

Local and state agencies, along with nonprofits and other volunteer organizations, participated in hundreds of Coastal Cleanup Day events throughout California on Sept. 23. Goals of the annual day of action include promoting environmental health while bringing community members together with efforts to prevent water pollution at its source. 

Statewide, more than 25,000 volunteers participated in more than 700 cleanup efforts on Sept. 23, according to the California Coastal Commission. These volunteers picked up more than 126,000 pounds of trash and 7,000 pounds of recyclable materials, according to CCC Marine Debris Program Manager Eben Schwartz. 

Among the unusual items picked up include a 5.25-inch floppy disk in Yolo County, which none of the young people at the cleanup site could identify, says a press release from the CCC. In Marin County, a volunteer found a card associated with a North Carolina resident’s remains—perhaps the result of someone’s wish for their ashes to be spread on the California coast. 

“For generations, Californians have demonstrated their love and dedication to our coast during Coastal Cleanup Day,” said the Commission’s Executive Director Dr. Kate Huckelbridge. “The Coastal Commission is incredibly proud to provide an outlet for all Californians to express that dedication each year. We see how devoting only a few hours on a Saturday in September translates into a year-round commitment to the protection and preservation of our coast. We are grateful to all who share in this goal!”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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