Hung over UCSB revelers missing shoes and other costume pieces have little hope of retrieving them this week, as Isla Vista residents and volunteers continue to remove trash from the streets today.
Jacob Womack, supervisor of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District’s (IVRPD) Adopt-A-Block program, said volunteers have been picking up trash and clearing clogged storm drains since Saturday morning and will continue through this Friday. Womack said he expects to coordinate over 200 volunteers, mostly from campus sports clubs and greek organizations, working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all week. Although there are no figures yet regarding how much trash has been collected, Womack said the final numbers will likely be similar to last year’s 10,000 pounds of garbage.
“To put things in perspective, in the entire year we picked up about 85,000 pounds of trash,” Womack said. “Almost an eighth of that came just from the week of Halloween.”
Womack said cleaning up after Halloween often means picking up not only bottles and cans, but clothing as well.
“One of the big things I’ve noticed is there’s so many shoes – one girl actually did an art project last year on all the shoes we found,” Womack said. “There are a lot of pieces of costumes [and] your normal bottles and cups. The fact is that we’re so close to the ocean that all the trash that doesn’t get picked up ends up there.”
The majority of volunteers have been from sports clubs, Womack said, as the IVRPD arranged with the Recreational Sports program to pay clubs $8 an hour to help clean the streets. Sport Clubs Coordinator Taggart Malone said UCSB’s 22 sports clubs are all participating to some degree and have the opportunity to earn an additional $4 – to bring their payment up to $12 an hour – through a fund-raising matching system.
“This is something that sports clubs have done consistently for years,” Malone said. “The sports clubs are almost all members of the I.V. community, and by helping out and cleaning they’re doing their community service.”
Second-year mechanical engineering major and cycling team member Matt Post said his motivation for cleaning was to help out his club.
“We wanted to help out so they can help the team out,” Post said. “We’ve been cleaning DP and Sabado [Tarde Road]. It’s kind of dirty. We picked up a lot – condoms, unopened bottles of beer.”
Tessa Molinari, senior environmental studies major and field hockey player, said she got the job of cleaning leaves and costumes out of congested storm drains.
“Most people are picking up trash, but we got this weird job of cleaning out storm drains,” Molinari said. “We find some weird stuff – parts of Halloween costumes, lots of bottles, and shirts and stuff.”
Additional assistance was provided on Monday by a street sweeper, Goleta West Sanitary District Manager Mark Nation said.
“We had our street sweeper out [Monday] morning along the main drag,” Nation said. “It’s not a scheduled route … we always do it when we know it’s really bad out there. Whenever there’s a community event we try to get a little extra sweeping in.”
IVRPD Director Diane Conn said she was surprised at how clean the streets are already.
“It doesn’t seem that bad,” Conn said. “There’s houses that are trashy, but those are the houses that are always trashy.”