Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trash-a Dena: There's Still a Problem

I had hoped with this third post to end this particular series documenting my attempt to have the City of Pasadena clean two areas in the Central Arroyo Seco of plastic pollution.  I have been prepared each time I interacted with the City to praise their responsiveness and their thoughtful consideration of the issues which I had brought to their attention.  Unfortunately, with regard to this post, that's still not the case.

Today, as I made my way to the natural area below Devil's Gate Dam, which was reported to me by Parks and Natural Resources Administrator Charles Peretz to have been cleaned by city work crews, this is what I found:

Whether it's the City's claims that they adequately clean the Central Arroyo after events, or during a day to day basis, this is the poor caliber of work that we are left with every time.  They dispose of all of the big stuff, and pay no attention to the micro-trash which accumulates.  They cover the trash with fresh mulch, which is often contaminated with shredded plastic itself.  The City of Pasadena, therefore, not only neglects the sensitive environment of the Arroyo Seco, but contributes to it's degradation.

We have in the Arroyo a great natural and cultural resource for the City of Pasadena, for the nation and for the rest of the world.  I will continue to demand from the City that these areas of the Arroyo be cleaned, until their full potential as such is met.

Trash-a-Dena: Going Forward


  1. Tim, I wonder if what we have here is a problem of ignorance. You're not talking to the workers who did the clean-up. You're talking to their supervisors. The workers probably don't even know why they're cleaning--to leave it looking nice? To get a paycheck? I doubt they know that these tiny bits they leave behind are pollutants.

    So the question becomes, how do we educate them? This really shouldn't be our job, but then again, it is. Do we educate their supervisors? How do we make people care?

  2. I agree, it boils down to education; for city workers and citizens alike. If people know and are conscious of the cause and effects then I think those particles wouldn't even be there to begin with. Even if they don't act upon it, at least that awareness 'seed' is planted -- it'll be easier and faster to work with people if we've established this common ground.

  3. They probably could of done a better job cleaning up,but maybe people need to learn how to use a trash can have a nice day.