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Stormwater Program display featuring litter cleaned up by volunteers across San Luis Obispo County in 2019.

Stormwater Program Puts Trash on Display in New Government Center

Author: Public Works
Date: 8/19/2019 5:18:36 PM

An innovative new display in the New Government Center features local, volunteer-collected litter to raise awareness and promote opportunities to help the County of San Luis Obispo keep waterways safe and clean.

The County’s Stormwater Program has created a new display to draw attention to the volume of trash that is regularly deposited on County roadways and beaches, and the outstanding efforts of local volunteers to prevent trash from reaching our waterways.  The display will be available for viewing in the New Government Center during business hours up until Creeks to Coast Cleanup Day, September 21, 2019.

“There are many dedicated volunteers and County staff working to help keep our roadways, beaches, and waterways free of trash. It’s important that the community understands how much effort is already being made, and that significant amounts of litter are being picked up. We want to encourage more members of the community to get engaged.” said Ann Gillespie, County Stormwater Program Coordinator.

Throughout the state, trash is typically generated on land and transported to waterways. One of the key pathways for litter and trash to reach creeks, rivers, lakes and the ocean is through the storm drainage network. In 2015 the State adopted statewide Trash Amendments that require local agencies to address the pervasive impacts trash has on waterways. The Trash Amendments require the County to significantly reduce the amount of trash that migrates through the storm drainage network to local waterways by 2030.

The County will be implementing a combination of methods such as trash capture systems, low impact development, and clean up and capture efforts (street sweeping, Adopt-A-Road, Creek and Coastal Cleanups, etc.) to meet target trash reduction rates by 2030.

"Adopt-a-Road program volunteers collected more than 815 bags of trash last year. Our volunteers are keeping more than 170 miles of roadways scenic and clean, and we really appreciate all of their effort" noted Mike Hill, who coordinates the program for Public Works.

The County’s Stormwater Program has been collaborating with the Cities, Tobacco Control Coalition, Integrated Waste Management Authority, and local non-profits to explore new opportunities to engage the community in litter and trash reduction. Stop by to see the display in the New Government Center or learn more about the County’s efforts at