Do you remember the last time you picked up a piece of litter from the ground? It’s not glamorous; but trash left outside bins pollutes our water, harms our local wildlife and is costly to clean up.
According to Keep America Beautiful, there are more than 50 billion pieces of litter on our nation’s roadways. In some communities, cigarette butts are the most common litter, but beverage cups, napkins, plastic bags and plastic water bottles are just as common.
Although local volunteers have helped remove more than 450,000 pounds of trash from the Santa Clara River over the past 25 years, the city of Santa Clarita still continues to spend a lot of money and time cleaning and treating litter in storm drains in addition to gathering dumped materials every year.
Litter is more than just an inconvenience to our beautiful community, it gets in the Santa Clara River affecting the endangered species that call it home. California Condors, one of the most endangered species on Earth, is also found in our area. Condors will mistakenly pick up microtrash (bottle caps, broken glass, etc.) and can feed it to their young. This has led to the deaths of many Condor chicks.
But stopping litter starts with each of us. Here are a few easy tips to stop littering once and for all:
* Hold on to trash until you find a trash can or recycle bin. It’s really that simple!
* Keep a litter bag in your car to dispose of your trash when you arrive at your destination.
* Use the public trash and recycling containers along bike paths, at bus stops and parks.
* Do your “doody” and pick up after your pet – the city distributes free bag dispensers at events and throughout the community. Please tie the bag and place it in the trash bin.
* Bring a litter bag on hikes or walks so you can pick up trash that you find along the way.
* Place leaves, grass and other yard clippings in the green waste bin.
* Take household hazardous waste to proper disposal centers or collection events. http://greensantaclarita.com/residents/hazardous-waste/
Let’s all do our part to keep Santa Clarita clean and green.
Visit GreenSantaClarita.com for more about water quality and other green-friendly tips.