When picturing a children’s party, many are quick to think that streamers and sparklers are welcome sights.
Yet, for the people who clean them up afterward, these party favors are large nuisances. To get the right idea, imagine having to pick up explosions of confetti around and under every picnic table in Twin Pines Park. Many people would simply walk away and leave the problem for someone else.
But for the participants of the Belmont Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 16, this was only a small portion of the work that needed to be done. The goal of the activity was straightforward: they wanted to clear the trash from the area surrounding Belmont Creek.
“I enjoyed participating in [the Coastal Cleanup] because it’s really nice to help the environment and my community,” said Sofia Garcia, a senior. “Honestly, some people are lazy and try to hide trash in the area, so we need to find the litter and clean it.”
This year’s annual Coastal Cleanup hosted a crowd of 145 volunteers according to Belmont site captain, Diane Lynn. The volunteers first arrived at 8 a.m. and were given buckets, plastic bags, gloves, and grabber tools to collect trash. The participants were then assigned to one of six locations for cleanup: East Laurel Creek, Waterdog Lake, Carlmont Shopping Center, Twin Pines Park, O’ Neill Slough North, or O’Neil Slough South.
“The Coastal Cleanup is organized by San Mateo County, and has been going on for longer than 10 years,” said Lynn. “What was different this year was that after people cleaned one site, they proceeded to another one.”
Participants later returned to Belmont City Hall around noon, where they emptied their buckets into large black trash bags. To gather more information on what was collected, each volunteer was asked to report what type of waste they found and the quantity of that waste.
“I think our efforts really helped the park,” said Clara Fields, a junior. “It’s nice to know that [the cleanup] will put less burden on the environment. People need to be more conscious of what they’re doing and take into account the consequences of littering.”