Vallejo volunteers pick up tons of trash for Coastal Cleanup http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_2155...
Myrna Hayes was certainly glad she gave her hundred volunteers reusable burlap sacks to pick up trash on Saturday.
"It was the perfect thing to put the kitten in," Hayes said.
The kitten, now in the care of the Humane Society of the North Bay, was likely the most unexpected thing that volunteers discovered during this year's annual Coastal Cleanup.
The statewide event encouraged people to spend Saturday morning scouring California's extensive shorelines and waterways.
This is the 20th year Vallejo has observed Coastal Cleanup, drawing nearly 950 volunteers to places like Hanns Memorial Park, Sandy Beach and Mare Island, where the tiny kitten was found, said Jennifer Kaiser, spokeswoman for the Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District.
To the best of her knowledge, Kaiser believes that number is a record for Vallejo. The last time the volunteer population surpassed 900 was two years ago, but more than 400 of those were out-of-towners.
Not so this year.
"For the most part, this was all Vallejo volunteers," Kaiser said.
Groups from schools, companies, churches and Scout groups filled the ranks of people who picked up tons of trash and recyclable materials.
Two Girl Scout troops also spent the morning making lunch for the volunteers.
"The girls started packing in my garage at 8 o'clock in the morning," said Susan Walls, who coordinates the troops. Walls is also the new principal of Cooper Elementary School.
In total, nearly 2,900 people in Solano County spent Saturday morning collecting about 85,000 pounds of trash and recylables.
Kaiser's preliminary numbers suggest that Vallejo volunteers cleaned up nearly 80 percent of that, or 67,000 pounds of trash and recyclables. That compares to 43,000 pounds picked up last year.
Interestingly, about 56,000 pounds of this year's Vallejo total were picked up from a single site of illegally dumped items on Mare Island in the week leading up to Saturday's cleanup.
"It really puts that number in perspective. Because without it, if that's not happening, or if it's happening and not being picked up, it's 11,000 pounds of trash (picked up on Saturday)," Kaiser said.