Clean California has allowed Caltrans employees a whole new way to work with our local partners. The $1.1 billion dollar initiative is designed to have a multi-pronged approach that enables cities and counties to directly participate in cleaning up and improving their communities. In District 2, around $5 million has been allocated for state projects that will beautify our roadsides and enhance safety. Local partners in District 2 have also been awarded nearly $8.5 million through the Clean California Local Grant Program for three projects in District 2.
Another great way that Clean California has helped our communities is by targeting areas for free dump day events. These events give our local partners another resource to clean up their homes and prevent dumping. In August 2021 our goal was to hold two events in our district, however, due to the large turnout during early events, our Clean California plans changed.
Clean California Project Coordinator, Meagan Benham, worked hard to partner with counties all over District 2 to reach our goal of 12 events in 12 months. As of June 1, Meagan has organized 9 free dump day events in four counties – only 3 events away from our goal for 2022.
In celebration of Earth Day, Clean California coordinators across the state worked together to organize dump day events at 30 locations all over California on April 23. In District 2, Caltrans held two events in Trinity County to target appliances, general waste, and bulky items in order to celebrate Earth Day.
Trash service isn’t available in parts of Trinity County which creates extra barriers for locals to properly dispose of garbage. Dumping is a huge issue and residents were pleased that this event would help divert trash off roadways. Hosting a free dump day event in this area helped fulfill a vital need for that community. Transfer station customers were friendly and excited about the opportunity to get rid of their garbage free of charge and because not everyone owns a truck or trailer, people brought in their waste in any way they could. One person even biked in his garbage using a small bike trailer but many people used their cars to make multiple trips to get rid of their household waste.
Trinity County residents were able to drop off their old appliances in Hayfork. It looked as if many appliances had been collecting dust for a very long time. One man said that his dishwasher had been sitting around since 1982. Caltrans was able to help residents properly dispose of 382 appliances.
At the Weaverville Transfer Station, residents brought in around 685 cubic yards of household waste and bulky items.
Caltrans collected more than 10,000 cubic yards on statewide dump day – enough to fill more than three Olympic swimming pools. For Earth Day, Trinity County properly disposed of more than 1,200 cubic yards of trash. Meeting great people and seeing the large turnout for our free dump day events has created an awesome opportunity for the Clean California team to connect with people who live in the communities we serve.
“It's exciting to see the positive impact Free Dump Days have had within the different communities in District 2,” said Meagan Benham. “I'm looking forward to planning more Free Dump Days with our local partners in order to help prevent illegal dumping on our state right of way.”
- Written by District 2 PIO, Samantha O'Reilly