Volunteers discovered a remote control on Saturday at Lodi Lake while picking up trash, but there was no TV to be found. The clicker was the most unusual piece of trash discovered at the eighth annual cleanup. Lodi Lake and the Mokelumne River were among the more than 800 sites statewide where people cleaned up waterways for the California Coastal Cleanup Day.
The Lodi cleanup has grown in recent years. This year, 268 people volunteered to pick up trash, said Kathy Grant, the city’s watershed education coordinator.
While that number is down from last year, which had a record-setting 328 volunteers, the numbers are still a lot higher than in 2008, where there were 110 volunteers.
The volunteers in Lodi hauled in 37 huge bags of lightweight plastics, lunch waste and food wrappers.
“The biggest deal is that lightweight plastic won’t make it out into the river,” Grant said.
There also were nine bags of recycling, which were mainly glass, cans and plastics.
Besides the TV changer, people also picked up a harmonica, three appliances, lots of batteries, three lollipop sticks and an aerosol can.
They also collected hundreds of pieces of firework shells scattered throughout the park.
For the first time, volunteers at the Lodi event were able to recycle their electronics. People turned in three pallets of old computers, microwave ovens and old TVs.
One of the items absent from this year’s cleanup was drug paraphernalia. This was the first time volunteers have not found needles or pipes.
Walmart offered reusable shopping bags to volunteers. The San Joaquin County Public Works department and Waste Management also offered education on how to reduce waste.
The volunteers sorted and recorded all the trash that they found. The records will be sent to The Ocean Conservancy’s international database to aid in monitoring marine pollution.
Statewide, the Coastal Commission has received results from 70 percent of the more than 800 sites. There were at least 73,377 volunteers, and they collected 692,203 pounds of trash and 59,228 of recyclable materials.