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They Came, The Left...their trash. The April Beach Cleanup Numbers

April brought more visitors to Mission Beach. Understandable since we had less rain than the previous months and some warmer temperatures. Everyone wanted to get out and enjoy the beach they miss so much.

With more visitors comes more trash. In April of 2023 over 21,000 pieces of trash were collected. Some of the items picked up include 4,878 glass, metal, and plastic bottles. These numbers reflect 24 days of beach trash picked up by one person, on one mile of the oceanfront in South Mission Beach. This number does not include all the other trash picked up by other volunteers who did their part to make Mission Beach a cleaner place to visit.

The Numbers


Unopened Liquor-30

Reusable Bottles-15


Crutches-1 set


Drinking and Glass We experienced an increase in drinking alcohol on the beach and the unfortunate result was glass, broken and unbroken. 3% of the plastic bottles were liquor. 90% of the metal was liquor, and 99% of the glass bottles were liquor.

We started tracking bottles due to the number of larger parties, drunk drivers, accidents, and trash coming out of South Mission Beach. With these numbers, we are sending to Park and Rec and Police to ask for coverage as much as possible. In addition, the amount of broken glass on the beach, sidewalks, streets, and boardwalk is growing,

Poopy Situation We started tracking dirty diapers and dog feces late last year. We know the average Mission Beach parking lot has an average of five dirty diapers left behind. But with the increase in pets, we are seeing an increase in people not picking up after their pets. One of our local Parks and Rec staff reported that when they weed whack they have unpicked up messes get on their clothing. It is not the responsibility of Parks and Rec staff to clean up after your pets.

Regulations Bonfires: The City set new regulations on Beach Bonfires in February. Despite that fact, over 20 Illegal bonfires were in South Mission Beach in April of 2023. 90% of these bonfires were still burning, with liquor and non-flammable trash left in the pits or in the sand.

Vendor Ordinance With the street vendors gone, the grass is growing back at Belmont Park and the trash cans are not overflowing with their boxes and refuse. If you see illegal vending on the boardwalk, it is recommended you report it on Get It Done.

Styrofoam Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance Effective April 1, 2023. We have not seen a reduction in this. Daily, we find styrofoam food containers, coolers, and cups. They litter our beaches and fill up the trashcans.

  • Most polystyrene foam containers are prohibited from distribution and sale. This includes food service ware such as bowls, plates, trays, cups, lids, and other similar items, as well as egg cartons and meat trays.

  • Single-use plastic (and bio-plastic) straws and utensils may only be provided upon the request of the customer.

  • The following may not be distributed if made from polystyrene foam unless encased within another material:

    • Coolers, ice chests, or similar containers.

    • Pool or beach toys.

    • Dock floats, mooring buoys, or anchor or navigation markers.

  • All polystyrene foam products are prohibited from City facilities (including parks and beaches)

Using Get It Done Please use Get It Done for parking violations, illegal vending, illegal dumping, scooters, streetlights, etc. Please report illegal beach fire activity on Get It Done as well. Category 'Other' topic Illegal Bonfire. Take a picture, even if you are on the boardwalk, and see one in the distance. Our beaches are grey from charcoal so hopefully, we can clean this up.

Next Beach Clean Up

Come join us and bring your family and friends, or come out and make new friends! It's a fun way to give back to the planet and meet people who care as much as you do! This is also a great volunteer event for students who need their volunteer credit hours.

7 AM to 11AM at Belmont Park.

Look for tents on the grass south of the restrooms. Trash bags, grabbers, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be provided.

As always you can follow, like, and view images on our Instagram and Facebook pages.


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