While local revelers may be winding down after a weekend spent partying, groups of students and environmentalists are spending this week cleaning up the garbage that littered the streets following Isla Vista’s Halloween celebrations.
The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD), the Shoreline Preservation Fund, MarBorg Industries and local volunteers have been working since Saturday to help I.V. recover from last weekend’s festivities. IVRPD Adopt-A-Block Coordinator Jacob Womack said the cleanup effort, which is largely being done by volunteer crews, will continue all week and has gone smoothly so far.
“It’s going very well,” Womack said. “We cleaned up on Saturday, but [Tuesday was] the main day. We’ll be out there from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.”
Womack said volunteers in past years have collected up to 8,000 pounds of trash in I.V. after Halloween weekend. While he does not have statistics about how much trash this year’s cleanup will yield, he said he thinks there was less garbage left in the streets this year.
“So far it doesn’t look as bad as last year,” Womack said.
Womack said it is important to remove the trash and debris left by revelers from the streets as quickly as possible for aesthetic and environmental reasons. He said litter left behind could end up polluting the ocean if it is not cleared away.
“Obviously, storm drains would funnel into the ocean if not cleaned out,” Womack said.
While a large number of organizations have already volunteered their services, Womack said more help in the cleanup efforts are always appreciated. UCSB, the Goleta West Sanitary District and Santa Barbara County are all cosponsoring the program. Shoreline Preservation Fund’s Coastal Service Program, which organizes regular cleanup events in Isla Vista, scheduled daily cleanups over the weekend to decrease the amount of garbage that could make its way into the ocean.
David Borgatello, the vice president of MarBorg Industries – Isla Vista’s waste management company – said he is pleased with how well the cleanup efforts have gone so far.
Borgatello said fewer trashcans were set on fire this year, but a large number of bins were vandalized with graffiti. To save money, he said, MarBorg will send people into I.V. to clean the defaced cans and dumpsters.
MarBorg has been making frequent trips into the area to make sure that none of the cans overflow, he said.
“We started emptying bins last Friday and sent two trucks out yesterday and two out today to pick up cans,” Borgatello said.
For information on how to volunteer for the Adopt-A-Block program, contact the IVRPD at (805) 968-2017 and ask for Jacob Womack.