COVID-19 has worsened our trash problem by making us more reliant on disposable single-use products including safety masks and gloves. Many cash-strapped restaurants are staying afloat by offering take-out wrapped in plastic materials. With many public restrooms and businesses closed, recreational users tossed trash along the river’s many beaches. And although our homeless population has decreased by 9%, some larger abandoned camps contained 5 times as much trash as last year. On top of all that extra trash, we had to rely on fewer volunteers so we could stay 6-feet apart.
Despite these obstacles, we’ve picked up nearly 400,000 pounds of trash this year!