National Cleanup Day

National Cleanup Day is celebrated annually in the United States on the third Saturday of September. It promotes both organized and individual cleanup efforts and volunteering to keep the outdoors clean. 

JOIN US THIS YEAR ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2020

National Cleanup Day + Earth Day + Keep America Beautiful in conjunction with World Cleanup Day are coordinating cleanups across the US.

 SLO County Creeks to Coast Cleanup

Formerly known as Coastal Cleanup Day and Creek Day – This year ECOSLO has joined forces with the Central Coast Partners for Water Quality to bring you an even bigger and better event – SLO County Creeks to Coast Cleanup
Find more information here.


Do you want your children to understand that they can be environmental stewards in their school or neighborhood? Register your school as a Schoolyard Cleanup Site to receive assistance and recognition and to be a part of an international effort to protect our coast and ocean, no matter where your school is!

Helping our children understand the importance of recycling and conserving resources will be vital in growing constant awareness of how what we do affects our neighbors, our world, and our future.


Litter is a big problem in California. In 2019, Caltrans spent $62 million on litter removal from our highways. They collected enough trash and debris to fill more than 9,700 garbage trucks.

California Coastal Cleanup numbers for 2018: 759,354 Pounds of Trash and 819,323 Pounds of Debris collected during the cleanup.

Litter is an eyesore to look at and expensive to pick up. To make matters worse, litter often leaches pollutants into the environment, and it harms wildlife, as well. Litter is often carried by wind or rain into rivers and storm drains, where it pollutes our waterways. Recent research from the Netherlands indicates that over 550 marine species have been affected by plastic litter, either by becoming tangled in it or eating it.

If every person in California picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 39.51 million fewer pieces of litter. If you and your friends spend just one hour picking up litter in your own neighborhood, you will not only pick up thousands of pieces of trash, you will also make a tremendous impact on your community. 

 

 

SLO County Creeks to Coast Cleanup

Formerly known as Coastal Cleanup Day and Creek Day – this year ECOSLO has joined forces with the Central Coast Partners for Water Quality to bring you an even bigger and better event – SLO County Creeks to Coast Cleanup! This year, join us as we track data and cleanup not only our beautiful coastline, but several inland creeks, lakes, and parks throughout SLO County. 

Since 2005, ECOSLO coordinates beach cleanups from San Simeon to Nipomo as part of an international day of cleanup. Even though Central Coast beaches are cleaner than some, last year we removed nearly 6,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, waterways and lakes.

For the past 10 years, Central Coast Partners for Water Quality have been hosting Creek Day in late September. They’ve been tackling the creeks and inland sites – working to picked up heavy loads of trash here to work to prevent that debris from eventually finding its way to the ocean.

This year, we’re combining to bring all of SLO County together to clean our beautiful watersheds and coastline – from the creeks to the coast!

Please click below to ‘Register’ and view over 40 sites available to volunteer at. Locations are listed from North county to South county. Complete your registration and you’ll be confirmed for that location!

Please note that we ask you to signup online via this Eventbrite registration as it helps us anticipate supplies needed for each site. You do not need to bring your ticket with you.

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 9am – 12 noon

SIGN UP HERE

Surfrider Hold On To Your Butt Beach Cleanup

Join us for Hold On To Your Butt Awareness Day! We’re partnering with the County’s Tobacco Control Program to educate beachgoers about the harmful impacts of cigarette butt litter. The event includes a beach cleanup and information tables. Our mascot, Butty, a human-sized cigarette butt, will hand out free pocket ashtrays to smokers.

Saturday, July 20, 10am – 12noon

Avila Beach Pier, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Post-Fourth of July Cleanup at Cambria

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the birthday of our country. It’s a day filled with joy, fun and lots of treats! Unfortunately, a lot of pollution from fireworks and single-use plastics end up on the beach and eventually find their way to the ocean after this day of celebration. Join ECOSLO for a morning post-Fourth of July cleanup and data tracking of pollution at Shamel Park in Cambria to help prevent this pollution from entering the ocean.

We’ll be tracking all of the pollution that we collect on data tracking cards provided by the California Coastal Commission or on the Clean Swell app to keep statistics on what is being found on SLO’s beaches.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own bucket, gloves, water, and a snack. Bags and litter grabbers are provided.

Shamel Park – 9am-11am

Directions From CA-1 North

  • Follow CA-1 North to Windsor Blvd in Cambria
  • Turn left onto Windsor Blvd. The park will be on your right. Volunteers will meet under the gazebo.

RSVP HERE

Post-Fourth of July Cleanup at Pirate’s Cove

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the birthday of our country. It’s a day filled with joy, fun and lots of treats! Unfortunately, a lot of pollution from fireworks and single-use plastics end up on the beach and eventually find their way to the ocean after this day of celebration. Join ECOSLO for a morning post-Fourth of July cleanup and data tracking of pollution at Pirate’s Cove to help prevent this pollution from entering the ocean.

We’ll be tracking all of the pollution that we collect on data tracking cards provided by the California Coastal Commission or on the Clean Swell app to keep statistics on what is being found on SLO’s beaches. There will also be a short presentation by an ECOSLO volunteer on the dangers of plastic pollution and ways that we can adjust our lifestyle to make more sustainable choices.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own bucket, gloves, water, and a snack. Bags and litter grabbers are provided.

Pirate’s Cove – 8am-10am

Directions From CA-101 South

  • Exit Avila Beach Drive.
  • Take a right onto Avila Beach Drive to Avila Beach. Take a left on Cave Landing Drive.

RSVP HERE

Post-Fourth of July Cleanup at Cayucos Pier

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the birthday of our country. It’s a day filled with joy, fun and lots of treats! Unfortunately, a lot of pollution from fireworks and single-use plastics end up on the beach and eventually find their way to the ocean after this day of celebration. Join ECOSLO for a morning post-Fourth of July cleanup and data tracking of pollution at Cayucos Pier to help prevent this pollution from entering the ocean.

We’ll be tracking all of the pollution that we collect on data tracking cards provided by the California Coastal Commission or on the Clean Swell app to keep statistics on what is being found on SLO’s beaches. There will also be a short presentation by an ECOSLO volunteer on the dangers of plastic pollution and ways that we can adjust our lifestyle to make more sustainable choices.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own bucket, gloves, water, and a snack. Bags and litter grabbers are provided.

Cayucos Pier – 7am-9am

Directors from HWY 1

  • Exit 285 for Cayucos Dr.
  • Head west on Cayucos Dr. which dead ends to the parking lot for the pier.
  • Meet on the left of the pier.

RSVP HERE

Green Cleaning

natural cleaning suppliesMost store-bought cleaning products are harsh on humans as well as the environment, and you don’t need them to keep your home clean! Basic household ingredients make great cleaners. Learn how to create your own safe and green cleaning products using this PDF guide:

Clean It! Safer House-Cleaning Methods That Really Work! 

Already have store-bought cleaning products at home? Use them up before disposing of their empty containers. If you don’t want to use them up, give them away or learn how to dispose of them safely.

Alternative Household Cleaning Products

Try these easy alternatives to minimize household hazardous waste products. Most of these products are very common and are found in most household cabinets:

  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Lemon Juice
  • Soap and Water
  • Steel Wool
  • Vinegar
  • Washing Soda

COVID-19 Info and Service Updates

covid-19 alert

Temporary Changes

  • Polystyrene ordinance postponed for 12 months until April 9, 2021. Click HERE for the ordinance postponement letter.
  • Compliance with COVID-19 precautions established by SLO CO Health Department. Click HERE for the latest update.

Business and Residential Hazardous, Universal & Electronic Waste Facilities Are Open
Face Mask Required


 Landfills

  • Landfill hours and services may be impacted by COVID-19.
  • Please contact the landfill nearest you for service changes. Click HERE for contact information.

Single-Use Plastic/Reusable Bags

  • Many grocers and retailers are temporarily distributing single-use bags (some free of charge) as a precaution to protect their employees.
  • Temporarily, they may not allow customers to use or even bring in their reusable bags to the store.

CLICK HERE to find out how to clean and disinfect your reusable bag

  • Please check with your grocer or retailer for updates on any specific precautions they may be taking.

 


How to Treat Waste Related to COVID-19

cleaning wipes

As you are probably already aware there is a new infectious disease known as COVID-19 going around. This disease is caused by the Novel Coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan, China and has now spread to over 100 countries including the United States. Here’s what you need to know about disposing of waste from suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Household Waste

Even if you suspect you or someone else in your household may have COVID-19, household waste can still be treated as normal. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after dealing with any objects you suspect could be contaminated. Household garbage can be set out for collection as normal. There is no need to indicate that your garbage may be contaminated. The Center for Disease Control has advised garbage collectors that no special precautions are necessary when dealing with household waste related to COVID-19.

As a reminder, single-use/anti-bacterial wipes should be disposed of in the trash, and this includes the so-called “flushable” wipes which aren’t flushable. Paper towels go in the trash. Please do not put any cleaning wipes, tissues or paper towels in the recycling. The cylindrical plastic cleaning wipes containers can go in the recycling when empty, along with any empty soap or hand sanitizer plastic bottles. Soapboxes, paper towel tubes, and other clean paper items can continue to go in the recycling as well.

Business Waste

Similarly to household waste, waste from commercial businesses and retail entities can be managed as usual unless directed otherwise by local health authorities. Remember to wash your hands after dealing with objects you suspect could be contaminated.

Sharps and Medical Waste

The Healthcare Waste Institute recommends using single-use sharps containers for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. With that exception, all medical waste suspected to be contaminated with COVID-19 should be handled like other regulated medical waste. COVID-19 is not a Category A infectious substance so it doesn’t require special handling beyond standard medical waste.

How to Remove PPE

In addition to washing your hands, using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can help reduce transmission. However, the effectiveness of PPE can be reduced if not removed properly. Here’s how the California Department of Public Health recommends you remove your PPE: “When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Place all used gloves, facemasks and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items.”

As the situation continues to evolve, waste handling measures may change. Be on the lookout for additional information from local health authorities.


The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) is working with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to bring resources to keep manufacturers open and safe during COVID-19.

To learn more about manufacturing repurposing during these unprecedented times, click HERE

If you are a manufacturer who wants to talk to your regional hospitals directly about their needs, the California Hospitals Association gave us the following key contacts:

Sutter Health Keri Thomas, Vice President Thomask@sutterhealth.org

Kaiser Permanente buytopay@kp.org

Dignity Health Supplies DignityHealthSac@DignityHealth.org

UC Davis covid19supplies@ucdavis.edu

Adventist SchroeJH@ah.org

Go Green in Every Room: Low Waste Kitchen

kitchen

There are many easy ways to reduce waste in the home, and one of the best places to start is somewhere most people spend a lot of their time: the kitchen. Taking simple actions such as choosing reusable bakeware over disposable plastics, or replacing single-use items with washables are a great way to start.

Be an Earth-Friendly Baker

Many recipes for baked treats call for a special type of pan and a special way to line the pan when baking. Silicone baking mats are non-stick, easy to use, and come in a variety of sizes useful for lining many types of pans. These mats replace the need for tin foil or parchment paper in baking, and also make a pan easier to wash when you’re all done. When choosing the right pan to bake in, look for something durable that can be used many times, and avoid single-use tins, which don’t hold up and create unnecessary waste.

How to Clean up the Mess

When you’re done cooking or baking, try cleaning up with washable towels and a homemade cleaning solution. Washable cloth towels are a great replacement for paper towels. Over time they work out to be less expensive than their paper counterpart and they eliminate a significant amount of waste. Many common household products such as white vinegar, essential oils, or baking soda can be mixed to create simple cleaning solutions that help you clean up without the chemicals. This article provides chemical-free DIY cleaning solution mixtures for a variety of different surface types in your home. Lastly, try placing your homemade cleaning solution in a glass or plastic spray bottle for easy use and storage.

After completing a cooking project, the food scraps can be composted and recyclables recycled. See everything that can go into your green waste bin and recycling bin. Please avoid “wishcycling” items such as plastic bags. Tossing items not listed in the link above into your recycling bin decreases our ability to recycle the items that can be recycled.

Don’t Trash Your Pumpkin, Put It In The Green Cart!


You spent a lot of effort to pick, carve and turn your pumpkin into the perfect creation now turn your once glowing Halloween pumpkin and other vegetative fall decorations into compost and electricity. When you keep these vegetative items out of the landfill you reduce the generation of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is 25 times MORE harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.To ensure the best second life for these great fall decorations, please remove any materials such as candles, glow sticks, and other non-vegetive decorations.


What Can Go in the Green Cart


Pumpkins, Gourds, Squash, Real Leaves, Corn Stalks, Ears of Corn, Flowers, Straw or Hay

 


What Can’t Go in the Green Cart

  • Metal, Paper, Plastic, or Silk Versions of the Above –  Put in Trash
  • Candles – Put in Trash
  • Wreaths – Put in Trash
  • Garland – Put in Trash
  • Lights – Put in Trash

 

 

 


Additional Tips to Help Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle During This Fall Season

Roast your pumpkin seeds

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Toss cleaned seeds in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of melted butter.
  • Lay the seeds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Roast for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  • While still hot, add salt and any other spice that sounds good to you.

Hold a costume exchange party for family, friends, and neighbors

Costumes are often worn only once. By trading costumes, last year’s outfit can get another wear and you can get something new. You can also donate unwanted costumes to local charities.

Keep it clean

Candy wrappers are a big source of litter around Halloween. Be sure to dispose of candy wrappers in trash bins where they won’t blow away and end up in the street.


Invest in decorations that are sustainable instead of single-use

  • Use washable fabric décors such as pumpkin-orange tablecloths, or cotton wall hangings or flags.
  • Use decorations from nature: multicolored leaves, a bowl of bright red pomegranates, or golden pears, ears of multicolored corn, squashes, and gourds, and interesting branches. After your finished they can all go in the green cart!
  • Check out a thrift store for a great find that is new to you.

Fun Facts

  • Over 1.5 billion pumpkins are produced every year.
  • Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Pumpkins are full of rich nutrients such as zinc, iron & phosphorus.
  • The word pumpkin originated from the Greek word Pepon which means large melon.