Massive cleanup underway to remove tons of debris from San Diego River

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — An effort to clean up the San Diego River, which has been fouled over the years by tons of waste and debris, was announced by city officials Wednesday.

Among the myriad issues involving ridding the river bed of tons of trash caused by all the homeless camps in the thickets along the water has been accessibility.

 And there’s no more definitive example than what was going on Wednesday morning.

High above the river, on the Friars Road bridge just east of Santo Road, city crews are using a make-shift pulley to haul up bag after bag of trash collected by the protectively clothed crews below.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was among those in attendance for the cleanup. “This is a natural jewel, and together with River Foundation, Alpha project crews clean all throughout the city,” Faulconer said.

We’ve certainly documented the efforts by the city and the San Diego River Park Foundation to remove the trash and debris along what should be a pristine waterway.

But another issue is the dense vegetation in which to hide and the constant movement by the homeless when a particular camp has been cleaned up.

The mayor has ordered a twice-a-week effort until at least March to continue Wednesdays efforts.

“It’s our imperative to stop the destruction here, other cities have been sued because of damage to the environment,” Faulconer said.

In just the four-days here, the crews have collected 10-tons of trash.

“We’re really excited,” said River Foundation president Rob Hutsel. “We finally have a full commitment and it’s going to turn the tide here.”

The mayor also said they’ll be more concentrated effort to remove vegetation that is not only destructive to environment, but also acts as a hiding place for all the homeless camps.

Categories: Local San Diego News