SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — It’s been raining in the Tijuana-San Diego region since Friday and as it always happens, much of the runoff flows from south of the border through canyons into the U.S. bringing with it tons of trash, debris and plastics.
Only this time, not as much is making its way north thanks to a trash collecting boom system that was set up in Tijuana last week.
It was installed by WILDCOAST, an environmental group based in Imperial Beach, Calif.
“This is the first-ever in Mexico, it’s working,” said Fay Crevoshay, WILDCOAST’s communications and policy director. “Next step is to take out the trash next week once it stops raining.”
Crevoshay says the boom is already paying off.
“Now we start recycling and repurposing that’s our next challenge, and we have to show the city of Tijuana more trash collection is needed, especially in neighborhoods that are set up in canyons,” she said.
For decades, tons of trash and millions of gallons of raw sewage have flowed into the Tijuana River Valley and then into the Pacific Ocean. Much of the materials are plastics that end up hurting wildlife and the ocean.
“It’s really bad for public health and for the environment all this trash lying around with water inside, it creates mosquito creation when it becomes spring that leads to a lot of diseases,” Crevoshay said.
Similar booms have been set up in years past at the bottom of some canyons, like Smuggler’s Gulch and Goat Canyon, stopping a lot of trash. But they can’t catch everything.
“We have to stop it at the source,” Crevoshay says. “We need to stop polluting our planet, our neighborhoods, our environment, we are the environment.”
The boom that was set up in Tijuana was paid for by a grant, and Crevoshay says the hope is to install several others.
“The grant that we got is from people interested in cleaning our rivers from plastics, preventing plastics from going into the ocean, we’re trying to prove that they work.”