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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Keeping the beach clean/Cuidando la Playa

The city employs three people full time to clean the beach,

Hay tres obreros de la municipalidad limpiando la playa.

but it is really everybody's job.

pero desde luego es trabajo de todos.


strandwolf said...

I've wondering about the litter situation at this beach. Many beaches in the US have oil drum type waste receptables that a vehicle services periodically. Most people pitch in or haul out, though wind can blow stuff around so that it's difficult to shag. Is there a national "keep it clean" campaign in Mexico, akin, say, to Texas' "Dont Mess With Texas"?

lynn deweese-parkinson said...

I do not know of any national campaign.
There is a lot of emphasis on taking care of the beach in Playas though, through local government, private businesses, Associaciones Civiles (N.G.O.s - non-governmental organizations), and individuals.
The city of Tijuana puts out lots of litter barrels, picks up garbage daily in Playas, and has assigned three people and a pickup truck to beach cleaning. All garbage pickup in the city is free.
Various businesses do other things from sponsoring other garbage cans to hanging banners and signs around promoting anti-litter campaigns and recycling.
Las Gaviotas is one of several environmental organizations that sponsor beach cleanup days. It happens to be the one a half block from our house and the one we work with. A local drug rehabilitation center puts its folks out every Monday to scour the beach of litter from one end to the other. You will see them in white uniforms collecting operating funds in caans in the line to cross back to the USA at San Ysidro. I used to think they were a scam and refused them. Now I always toss some change in their cans and suggest you do too. They are legitimate.
Cathie and I usually take one plastic bag with us on beach walks and usually fill it with litter. We also bought an extra litter barrel ourselves for our block. It is not a rich country and resources are a problem.

Many, many (I would say most) other people do what they can individually to clean up as well. We have run into a few families who devote a set time each week to litter pickup on the beach. Most folks seem to take the resposibility to sweep and clean in front of their own homes and businesses.
Nonetheless there is usually some litter on the beach. It is remarkably clean considering the amount of use it gets but there are always people who cannot put things in a receptical - it seems especially true of smokers and drunks. Having been both in my past I fell some karmic relief in picking up after them.
I think you would usually find Playas a pleasant beach, though on US holiday weekends we do get more than our share of drunks at times, I think. I don't know, maybe it is just our share and there are simply a ton of them and I just didn't notice when I was one.