Sept. 18 is National Cleanup Day

Help Us “Keep El Sobrante Clean and Beautiful”

National Clean Up Day, September 18, 2021, is a nation-wide event to kick off our local beautification campaign. For more information about the El Sobrante Green Team’s local activities, sponsorship opportunities, or to participate sign up online, send us an email or call Holly Trejo at 510-685-6268.

How many times have you passed by litter in the streets, aggravated at other people who are making our community streets and public  areas ugly, dirty, messy and polluted. But, since you didn’t throw it there, you simply left it there, for someone else to clean up?

Whose responsibility is it to keep our properties and surrounding areas free of litter? It turns out that it is up to all of us! 

Fast food wrappers, plastic bottles, cans, bags, masks, gloves, cigarette butts, and so on — pedestrians mindlessly drop things or people toss them out of their cars into our streets, sidewalks, gutters, parking lots, and streams. It’s not only ugly, but it is bad for the environment, attracts vermin and can spread disease. 

No one is going to do it but us. We don’t have a government program or a team of paid workers to clean up our town. Public works agencies from the county or cities will pick up big, bulky items illegally dumped around town if they are reported, but they don’t have time or resources to pick up litter. 

So, if we want to live in a clean, healthy environment – one that we can take pride in – it’s up to each of us to step up to the plate and do our part to take care of it. 

New effort to clean, beautify El Sobrante

When you ask residents of El Sobrante what they like most about living here, often the first response is all of the natural beauty – the trees, the hills, the creeks, the wildlife, the semi-rural feel of our neighborhoods. 

The escalating dumping and littering problems, however, defile that beauty. When our streets and properties look trashy, it exhibits a lack of respect and pride; not to mention that it’s a slippery slope into blight, depressed-looking properties and declining property values. It is abusive to our environment and community, and it impacts the quality of life we enjoy here. 

It’s time for local businesses and residents to wake up, work together and get proactive to do our part to “Keep El Sobrante Clean and Beautiful.” In fact, that’s the slogan for our new El Sobrante Green Teams volunteer project and National Clean Up Day event set for Saturday, September 18, 2021. It will be an area-wide event that encompasses the business districts and all of the local neighborhoods of the 94803 zip code. 

Lots of ways to join in on Sept. 18 and beyond

This nationwide event is a great opportunity to engage our village in being a part of the solution to the litter problem. From this event, we will launch ongoing programs to keep our community clean. 

A major outreach is underway to engage businesses, property owners, residents, apartment complexes, schools, places of worship, neighborhood associations, organizations, anyone and everyone to form teams to step up and take responsibility for beautifying and cleaning up around our business areas and neighborhoods. Check out for more details. 

If we get enough teams to participate in our National Clean Up day event, we can really make a significant difference in our town. We are asking our neighbors to pick up the litter on their properties out to the streets, in all of their public areas, and on their block. We are asking businesses to maintain clean and attractive properties for their customers, including providing adequate receptacles for trash and cigarette butts. Or, pick out a problem area that’s been bugging you for a while and get a group of friends to help clean it up. Help your neighbors clean their properties. And while you are at it, pull up those weeds, plant some flowers, or refresh the paint on things that have been an eyesore for a while.

Only the beginning, we’re in it for the long haul

But this is only the beginning! Our plan is to instill a sense of personal and collective responsibility that we need to keep El Sobrante clean and beautiful all year ‘round. 

Along with the actual clean up, we will disseminate information on how to report illegal dumps, and educate the community about the many resources that are available to responsibly recycle or dispose of packaging and household items. This will reinforce and help sustain our cleanup and beautifying efforts moving forward. We are in this for the long-haul. 

Remember: No one else will do this for us. See the litter, pick it up: Even if it wasn’t yours. Dumping and littering are no longer acceptable or tolerated in our town. Take pride in knowing that our community cares about keeping El Sobrante beautiful and deserves better.

*Mikki Norris is chair of the El Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council’s Subcommittee on Illegal Dumping/Littering, and member of volunteer cleanup groups, the El Sobrante Green Teams and Next Door’s El Sobrante Neighborhood Cleanup Group. The El Sobrante Green Teams are volunteers sponsored by the El Sobrante Chamber of Commerce.