Friday, April 25, 2008

Westside to get 'Clean and Green-Up'


A biannual community cleanup that last fall amassed 200 volunteers who picked up three tons of garbage, planted 25 trees, painted over graffiti and retrieved 25 abandoned shopping carts is scheduled to scour the lower Westside tomorrow.
And this year, the spring cleanup, dubbed the “Clean and Green-Up” is going to bigger and greener than in past years.

With new additions like an electronic waste collection station, a bike recycling drive and increased efforts to recycle the garbage collected, Lorraine Cruz Carpenter, executive coordinator of Looking Good Santa Barbara, said the cleanup is expected to be the greenest yet.
Since the cleanups began five years ago, Carpenter said the core goal has been to increase participation among people who live in the target neighborhoods in order to show that everyone has, or should have an interest in keeping the community clean.
“It creates a source of neighborhood and ownership and that’s what we want to build on,” she said. “It’s really great to see those neighbors building a sense of community.”
Carpenter said 300 people, including volunteers from seven churches and at least one elementary school, are expected to participate in the cleanup. She said door hangars and fliers have been distributed throughout the neighborhood to encourage residents to participate.
In order to quell illegal dumping, two roll-off trash bins will be placed in the neighborhood. Carpenter said residents will be able to dispose of pretty much whatever they want, with the exception of refrigerators. However, businesses are not supposed to use the bins.
Holding with the green theme, she said the bins will be sorted for recyclables after they are removed.
The electronic waste collection station opens today at 9 a.m. and is located at Shoreline Community Church at 935 San Andres St. Carpenter said pretty much anything with a plug will be taken. This service will also be available tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bici Centro, a local, non-profit bike shop that uses used parts to repair bikes and also offers bike education classes, is coordinating the bike recycling drive.
People interested in donating a bike can do so at Wentworth Park (on the corner of Wentworth and Coronel Streets), and the intersection of Walnut and Anapamu Streets. Carpenter said anyone interested in volunteering should meet at one of these two locations.
Aside from the two large cleanups Looking Good hosts each year, Carpenter said she coordinates a number of smaller cleanups per residents’ request. She said anyone interested in hosting such a cleanup should contact her through the Web site
“Our goal is to make getting involved easier and easier,” she said. “We can all participate at one level or another by dropping off an item to one of the collections or by getting our hands dirty planting a tree.”
Since Looking Good, which is a division of the city’s Environmental Services Division, started hosting the cleanups five years ago, 9.64 tons of green waste has been collected, 1,153 volunteers have participated, 12 tons of recyclables have been gathered and a total of 41.4 tons of waste has been cleaned from streets, front yards and creeks that would have otherwise likely have been left to rot.
“We’re always trying to educate residents on what city services are out there,” she said. “We also want to challenges them to do a small part and take action.”

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