Bay Area residents pollute San Francisco Bay every year with enough trash to fill 100,000 kitchen garbage bags, according to the first comprehensive study of the volume of litter flowing into the bay.
The tidal wave of fast-food wrappers, plastic bottles, paper bags and cigarette butts rolls across the landscape and into storm drains, where the garbage washes into creeks and the bay in wet weather. Although it may not be surprising that because of their size San Jose and Oakland pollute the most, tiny Colma in San Mateo County and a host of East Bay cities, including Pittsburg, El Cerrito and Richmond, are among the areas that add the most litter per capita, according to an analysis by this newspaper.
“This is 100 percent preventable. Trash doesn’t happen by itself. If we can get people to modify their behavior, we’ll make huge gains,” said Geoff Brosseau, executive director of the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, the Menlo Park group that compiled the report. Full Story