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  • Suresh Venkatraman

Huh What? There Was A 1962 Dodge Convertible in the Creek?

The amount of energy (and garbage) associated with the twice-yearly Permanente Creek clean up, never ceases to amaze our entire GreenTown team. And though it’s a messy job, it’s also incredibly rewarding to know you’re helping keep the Permanente Creek trash from heading out to the Bay.

Our GreenTown creek cleanup is one of many throughout Santa Clara County. And with this haul, both the county and our local results are impressive.

The GreenTown team of 15 energetic volunteers cleaned about 3/4 mile along Permanente between the Diversion Channel and St. Francis H.S. and sorted out:

  1. 108 pounds recycled/repurposed material

  2. 22 plastic bags

  3. Lots of styrofoam bits

  4. Smoking related items – 47 cigarette butts, mostly with plastic tubes attached; 8 cans chewing tobacco, 1 lighter

  5. 6 straws

  6. 35+ food wrappers.

The team left 98 pounds of tiles, wood, scrap metal and trash to be picked up by Cal Water crews; scrap metal will be recycled. GreenTown volunteers took home 78 pounds of plastic (62 bottles), glass (22 bottles) and aluminum (21 cans) and other items with chasing arrows to recycle in their home bins, keeping them out of the landfill.

Santa Clara County Cleanups

Collectively, (no pun intended), according to Santa Clara Water District Volunteer Coordinator, Kate Slama, the county wide data speaks volumes:

  1. Number of Volunteers: 1,643

  2. Distance Cleaned: 73.67 miles of creeks and shoreline

  3. Pounds of Trash: 35,423

  4. Pounds of Recyclables: 9,388,  37.7%

Unusual Items: life-size Santa Claus lawn decoration; old fashioned can opener, toy dinosaur, fireworks mortar launcher, crawdad trap, voodoo doll, skateboard, blonde wig, clean one dollar bills, propane tank, manikin head, 1962 dodge convertible, hibachi, TV tray, checkbook, dentures, sign on wheels, DVD player, bookcase, yoga mat, mini toilet, dog collar (without the dog), exercise ball, flag pole

Proving Trash Can Be a Treasure

According to Barbara O’Reilly, lead for the GreenTown volunteers, “We repurposed our biggest item by weight, which was a 30 pound bicycle, that will be part of an upcoming GreenTown November bike drive” (see photo), which shows one person’s garbage is another’s treasure.

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