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Parks & Beaches task city with increased trash pickup

Barber Tract residents — as well as at least one member of the La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJPB) advisory board — are asking the city to increase its trash pickup rounds and add more seagull-proof receptacles to keep La Jolla’s smaller beaches clean.

At the April 27 LJPB meeting, Barber Tract Neighborhood Association (BTNA) member Cynthia Chasan reported that trash is left on the beach at Marine Street because the cans at its entrances are not emptied regularly, nor are there enough of them.

Barber Tract residents are urging the city to increase trash pickup and install more cans along the shorelines.
Barber Tract residents are urging the city to increase trash pickup and install more cans along the shorelines.

After being identified on social media as a beach not frequented by police, she said the area has become a hotspot for young people to hang out and drink alcohol, and that beer bottles are often left on the beach.

BTNA president Dave Talcott reported a recent beach cleanup in the area yielded 185 pounds of trash.

Beaches near the Barber Tract — bound by La Jolla Boulevard to the east, just above Marine Street to the north and just above North Lane to the south — experienced a decrease in city maintenance when the city cut back on trash cans and pickup as part of a budget slash in 2009.

“Some people put their own cans out there, but I’d like to see the city get those back to the way they were,” said LJPB member Bill Robbins. “I’ve taken large trash bags out for parties and people fill them up and bring them to the can, but then they have no place to put them. Also along Coast Boulevard, people try to do the right thing with picnics, but the trash cans are often overflowing by the end of the day, so they put the trash next to the can and by morning, the birds have (flung the trash) everywhere.”

Residents near Marine Street beach argue that the current level of trash pickup is insufficient, considering the frequency of beach use — especially on weekends and the approaching summer.
Residents near Marine Street beach argue that the current level of trash pickup is insufficient, considering the frequency of beach use — especially on weekends and the approaching summer.

Added Chasan, “The Barber Tract Neighborhood Association worked tirelessly to get three ‘seagull-proof’ cans put back at Marine Street beach,” but with the increase in the beach’s popularity, the three quickly became insufficient. The city agreed to place additional cans at the site, but the ones they installed had open lids from which seagulls could retrieve food trash. “This has caused a massive seagull problem. We’ve asked for the city to replace these cans with seagull-proof lids and they asked us to come here (for Parks & Beaches support) first.”

Robbins added, “I really think it takes more labor for Park & Rec employees to pick up all that trash by hand than it would be to empty an additional can.”

To save time and the number of man- hours needed, Robbins suggested LJPB look into getting Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors similar to those found at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores, “maybe a few at Scripps Park and one at Children’s Pool, too,” he said. “Because they automatically compact, these recepticals hold three times more trash before needing to be emptied — and they indicate when they are full. We can talk about this all we want, but if it’s a year-long wait to get these and if we aren’t even on the list, we’re not going to get them.”

However, City Park & Recreation district manager Dan Daneri said the ones in La Jolla Shores are experiencing unforeseen complications due to proximity to the ocean and salty air, and that most Big Bellies are not found in ocean communities. “Park & Rec spent $800 on repairs recently,” he said.

“And these require different trash bags, so they are more complicated than a regular trash can.” Daneri argued that increased manpower would prove more beneficial.

Nevertheless, a motion to support Robbins investigating how to go about getting the Big Belly cans at smaller beaches was approved unanimously. An additional motion to ask the city for increased personnel and more seagull-proof trash cans at Marine Street beach and other areas in need passed unanimously.

Additionally, Chasan said she hopes police will increase their presence at the beach to deter underage drinking, which she said would decrease the amount of trash.

In other Parks & Beaches news:

Project funding on the way: LJPB chair Dan Allen said two LJPB capital projects were included in the recently announced 2016 city budget. The city has earmarked $950,000 for the Scripps Park restroom facility and $435,000 for Children’s Pool sidewalk beautification.

Exchange Place Park? The committee exploring options for the Exchange Place Reservoir parcel (near the corner of Country Club Drive and Pepita Way) will offer a report at next month’s meeting, looking at the possibility of turning the land into a public park after the reservoir is decommissioned and removed in 2016.

Beach access: Melinda Merryweather said she would present an updated proposal for opening public parking on Coast Walk, leading into the Coast Walk trail. She also said she’d like to discuss establishing an “adopt-a-view” program, similar to “adopt-a- highway,” to maintain the newly expanded view on Torrey Pines Road. In March, the city removed vegetation and shortened fencing along Torrey Pines Road, creating an ocean view to Scripps Pier and beyond, largely due to Merryweather’s efforts.

Next meeting: La Jolla Parks & Beaches meets 4 p.m. Monday, May 18 (one week earlier than usual due to the Memorial Day holiday) at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. lajollaparksandbeaches.org