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  • Writer's pictureTony Felice




MISSION BEACH, Calif. (Mar. 10, 2021) has released its trash collection figures for the year ending 2020. An estimated average of 6 tons of trash was picked up from south Mission Beach from volunteers. 118,734 items were cataloged by one resident alone using the Ocean Conservancy Collection List on the Marine Debris app powered by National Geographic and Morgan Stanley. Many more items are collected by other volunteers throughout the year who do not use the app.

The full numbers of items reported on the app used by Don’t Trash Mission Beach are as follows:

Every day, the advocacy group Don't Trash Mission Beach ( works to support efforts to keep Mission Beach Safe and Clean. Last year they picked up an estimated 60 tons of trash. One resident, Cathy Ives, painstakingly logs in every single item she collects. On her own, she picked up almost 120,000 in 2020 comprising food wrappers, bottle caps, bottles, glass, dog feces, balloons, wood, and charcoal from illegal fires, and even soiled diapers.

The advocacy promotes 'Pack It In and Pack It Out' along with personal responsibility and hopes that a community - visitor trash awareness campaign can precipitate change for Mission Beach.

The sheer amount of recyclable, salvageable items rescued from the beach in South Mission is staggering. The estimated retail value of items in 2020 is estimated at more than $40,000 a year. That includes wasted food, leftover beer, wine, and liquor, beach toys, personal items including shoes and towels, bringing to light the disposable society's mindset. It’s not unusual to pick up a pair of Gucci shoes worth more than a couple of hundred dollars, not to mention clothes and electronics. Just today we picked up a brand new propane stove. For a behind-the-scenes look at the volume of items collected, see two videos on the Don't Trash Mission Beach website located here:

For more information about the Don’t Trash Mission Beach, stats and photos, or to volunteer please visit or email the organizers at

About Don’t Trash Mission Beach

Don't Trash Mission Beach is a small group of volunteers who comb South Mission Beach in San Diego on a daily basis to pick up trash left every day on the shoreline, sand, boardwalks, sidewalks, streets, and parks. The average daily amount of trash picked up is around 500 pounds. In 2020 sixty tons of trash has been picked up by volunteers (much of it rescued from landfills) and either discarded appropriately or recycled, upcycled or cleaned and donated to charity. More than 118,000 items were collected in 2020. The group was formed to bring awareness and education around the hazards of beach trash and to foster a sense of pride in the community and advocate for personal responsibility and education through beach cleanup events and art installations. In addition, the group promotes a Court Adoption Program where members of the community can sign up as stewards for their streets. The group was formed by residents Cathy Ives and Tim and Tony Sanfelice. For more information, visit


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