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Volunteers clean up San Diego beaches after July 4 crowds

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 15:31:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Fourth of July crowds may have departed San Diego beaches, but the trash they left behind was still there early Friday morning.

Overflowing garbage cans, random backyard items, and old food were just some of the things found at Mission Beach on Friday.

“It’s not too much of a shock, and that’s what’s sad. So every year you expect this in a sad way,” said surfer JT Wild.

Wild had planned to go surfing early in the morning, but when he saw the trash, he traded in his surfboard for a trash picker. He said he keeps items in his car to collect garbage at the beach.

“It’s pretty crazy, so I rather just take my two hours and just see what I can do here,” Wild said.

Wild told 10News he didn’t even know that hours later he would be joined by dozens of other volunteers doing the same.

The Surfrider Foundation leads “The Morning After” Beach clean-up. Volunteers pick up trash at five different beaches along the coastline. Those locations include Mission Beach, Ocean Beach Pier, Ocean Beach Dog Park, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and Oceanside Pier.

Last year, nearly 700 volunteers removed more than 1,500 pounds of trash in just three hours.

“I think that, especially San Diegans in particular, really do appreciate the beauty we get to enjoy every day,” said Len Hering, executive director of I Love a Clean San Diego.

Volunteers suggest using reusable items at the beach, like containers and coolers, to reduce the amount of trash.