NewsLocal News


Caltrans cites homeless camps as contributor to growing San Diego freeway trash

Cal Trash Says Trash On The Rise.png
Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 18:05:22-05

NATIONAL CITY — SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Trash is increasing along San Diego freeways and homelessness appears to one of the driving factors, Caltrans reports.

Caltrans officials held a news conference Thursday to raise awareness of the growing problem and encourage people to do the right thing.

While Caltrans has no statistics, the agency says its crews are seeing more homeless encampments along local freeways, especially through urban areas, and officials believe that's contributing to the increasing litter.

"The encampments in the right of way do generate trash," said Mario Orso, Project Director for Caltrans in District 11, which covers San Diego and Imperial Counties. He stood along an on-ramp to I-805 in National City as it was being cleaned by a contracted litter crew.

Orso and other Caltrans officials said along with more homeless encampments producing trash, the problem appears to be on the rise from drivers as well, especially those transporting loads of trash or refuse to landfills without properly tying down their loads.

San Diego is not alone, Orso said, as Caltrans officials up and down the state are holding news conferences to increase awareness and encourage people to act responsibly.

Orso said trash pickup along freeways puts those who have to clean it up, like Caltrans workers, contractors and corrections inmates, at risk.

Caltrans says most of the trash is in metro areas along the 5 and 805.

They're urging volunteers to get involved through the Adopt a Highway program; helping clean up a section of highway on their choosing on a periodic basis.