About 300 volunteers clean up area near Tijuana River

Volunteers loaded up 40 ft. Dumpster with trash

SAN DIEGO - About 300 volunteers picked up trash around the Tijuana River on Saturday.

They scoured the area, picking up garbage they would never expect to find just tossed out into nature.

"A car seat, sack of potatoes, an ear of corn … lots of plastic," said a volunteer.

Bin by bin, volunteers with nonprofit groups from both the United States and Mexico loaded trash into a 40-foot Dumpster, all with one goal in mind.

"So this stuff doesn't get into the ocean and become a slimy mess that fish eat and we eat … trying to keep our beaches cleaner," said Bret Vonderreith, who is with the Solana Beach Eco Rotary Club.

Organizers say much of the junk comes from the Mexican side of the border because of a lack of proper garbage disposal and sewer services.

"In particular is the Los Arreglos Canyon which is just one of the main neighborhoods of Tijuana that has a lot of problems with their housing situation and pollution that comes out of there," said Dan Funk, who is with the Surfrider Foundation.

Organizers say the rainfall from earlier this week did not impact the amount of trash collected. They said they wanted to get a head start on the cleanup before the rains in November.

For volunteer Maria Peterson, the cleanup was also a teaching moment for the single mother of two.

"I want them to be aware that we need to be out there and help the environment," she said.

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