Mission Beach. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Nearly 500 volunteers with three organizations Wednesday collected more than 800 pounds of trash and recycliables that accumulated over the Fourth of July holiday at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, and the Ocean Beach, Crystal and Oceanside piers.

The Surfrider Foundation of San Diego County, San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego picked up refuse that revelers left behind. Last year, almost 700 volunteers gathered up 1,400 pounds of trash and nearly 400 pound of recycling material, organizers said.

Caroline Cantor of Surfrider said there’s been a significant decrease in the amount of holiday trash since the city of San Diego banned alcoholic beverages on beaches nine years ago.

“We are really happy to see the number of volunteers that came out this morning to help clean the beaches after the busy and long holiday weekend,” Cantor said.

“While it’s disappointing to see the beaches trashed, it’s always amazing to see the huge difference that three hours of work can make,” she said. “We can really see the community coming together to keep San Diego’s beaches clean and beautiful.”

She said volunteers collected around 7,000 cigarette butts, 947 pieces of styrofoam, and a variety of obscure items, including a toilet seat and hockey stick. The goal of the cleanup is to keep the trash from reaching the water, where it would add to pollution, she said.

–City News Service

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