Volunteers during a recent community cleanup event in Oceano — the community’s first weekend-long cleanup effort in 13 years — collected 99 tons of trash, 31 tons of scrap metal and three vehicles.
They also properly disposed of 400 electronic devices, including television sets, computers and microwaves, about 500 tires and 150 old mattresses, said Tony Presser, co-chair of the Keep Oceano Beautiful organization.
About 30 volunteers helped with the cleanup, which was held Oct. 15-16. The workers included members of the California Conservation Corps and some County Jail inmates.
The cleanup was enthusiastically received by local residents. “People were very grateful we were doing this,” Presser said Tuesday. “They said they had this stuff in their backyards for quite a while and didn’t know what to do with it.”
The Keep Oceano Beautiful group is now working on an instruction booklet to guide future cleanup efforts. It’s sort of a “what not to do” guide, Presser joked. Helpful tip No. 1: have a meeting, gather volunteers and work out some details before setting a date.
The Oceano group only had four months to pull the event together, Presser said, and could have used more time.
The last massive cleanup, held in 1998, netted 500 mattresses, 500 appliances , hundreds of tires, a 15-foot pile of scrap metal, 225 tons of miscellaneous garbage and 120 vehicles, according to news reports at the time.