California’s Trash Crisis: Tackling Litter, One Piece at a Time

California’s Trash Crisis: The pictures of trash left by visitors at the East Fork of the San Gabriel River in the Angeles National Forest were shocking. It was like the tremendous amount of litter seen at Lake Tahoe during the Fourth of July weekend.

Litter is a big problem in general, but the situation near the river in the San Gabriel Mountains has been horrible because of a few things. The weather was hot, so people wanted to cool off near the river. There was also a lot of rain, so the river flowed high and looked attractive. And some jobs needed to be done to keep the place clean, but they were empty.

This problem shows that California has a big trash issue. Governor Gavin Newsom started a program called Clean California in 2021, and it has $1.2 billion to clean up the state like never before.

Trash everywhere – in the streets, on the beaches, overflowing from trash cans, along the roads, in parks, and on hiking paths. Even broken furniture can be found left behind in different places.

Trash not only attracts pests and spreads diseases but also makes people feel sad and hopeless. Fixing big problems like climate change seems complicated if we can’t keep our streets clean.
But there are simple things we can do to help.

First, pick up any trash you see lying around, and second, make sure you don’t add to the mess. While hiring more people to clean up can help, it will take more than that to stop the problem. Trash is everyone’s problem, and we shouldn’t wait for someone else to fix it.

If each person picked up only one piece of trash every day in their neighborhood or local area, it could make a significant impact. The current situation has arisen from the accumulation of waste over time, and addressing it will also require taking one step at a time.

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