Clean-up efforts along the San Diego River
Cleanup efforts along the San Diego River. Courtesy of the mayor’s office

Three years into a citywide effort to keep San Diego clean and safe, Mayor Kevin Faulconer brought together partners of the city’s Clean SD program Tuesday to highlight the progress in removing more than 7,000 tons of trash, debris and waste from public spaces across the city.

“Clean SD is all about restoring a sense of pride in our communities and making sure our neighborhoods are clean and safe for everyone. Our cleanup crews have accomplished that and so much more,” Faulconer said. “This has truly been a citywide push to beautify our neighborhoods and we encourage San Diegans to keep using the Get It Done app to report issues that we need to address in their community.”

At the site of a frequent illegal dumping spot in the Paradise Hills neighborhood, Faulconer thanked Clean SD crews for clearing thousands of tons of trash and debris since the program’s implementation in 2017.

Clean SD started with crews responding to complaints received through the city’s Get It Done app and now includes proactive cleanups with roving crews as well as a list of hot spots that City Council members have identified in their neighborhoods. Crews have responded to more than 6,500 reports from the public and conducted more than 32,000 proactive cleanups.

According to Faulconer, the Clean SD program was initiated in response to unsanitary conditions in public spaces and to address quality-of-life issues in neighborhoods. Crews have power-washed more than 18,000 city blocks and the city now pairs Clean SD crews directly with the San Diego Police Department’s homeless outreach teams to offer services to individuals at homeless encampments.

The program is an effort between multiple city of San Diego departments, including Environmental Services, Transportation and Stormwater, and the SDPD’s Neighborhood Policing Division. External partners include the Center for Employment Opportunities, Urban Corps of San Diego County, Clean Harbors and Alpha Project of San Diego.

In partnership with the San Diego River Park Foundation, the city has also targeted cleanup efforts along the San Diego River — reducing the number of homeless encampments by 90% during the past three years.

The city owns about one-third of the property along the river with the other two-thirds being privately held by businesses and other government agencies.

— City News Service