San Jose volunteers have come together to get a San Jose creek cleared up from debris and garbage on Saturday, February 9, 2013. The Coyote Creek, which is near the Interstate-280 overpass, is very cluttered and unkempt.

The volunteers are part of the Health Communities Clean Creeks program and they spent hours on Saturday picking up rubbish from the creek. They cleared out over 748 lbs of trash from the creek itself in just 3 hours’ time.

Some of the garbage retrieved included an infant’s car seat, tires, and a lot of Styrofoam and plastic bags. However, the city had banned plastic bags back in January of 2012 and has since been able to reduce the clutter of plastic bags from the waterways by almost 60%.

The Styrofoam and plastic bags gathered in the cleanup accounted for nearly 7 to 8% of the trash collected that day. Styrofoam has been a major issue for quite some time. It doesn’t disintegrate like many waste products. The residents of San Jose are hoping for a ban against Styrofoam which is set to be voted for on February 24, 2013.

By 2022, the Regional Water Quality Control Board requires that the Coyote Creek along with 24 others have zero trash. So far, the cleanup of the waterways has greatly improved, but the Regional Water Quality Control Board also wants at least a 40% reduction of waste by next year.

Nearly 50 feet away from the Coyote Creek is a homeless campsite. The campsite has caused for a lot more garbage and debris in the creek. The director of the Health Communities Clean Creek program is afraid that with the homeless campsite right next to the creek, the creek will never be completely free of garbage.

Proper waste disposal is extremely important. The trash that clutters the Coyote Creek often flows straight into the San Francisco Bay. The waterways must be kept clean and free of trash. Otherwise, the waterways get clogged.

Concerned San Jose CA residents and the Health Communities Clean Creek program will continue their efforts to get the waterways clean. They also hope to get the homeless encampment cleared out and for Styrofoam to be banned.

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