Local News

Wednesday, Jan 08 2014 12:16 PM

'First Look': Calling for volunteers to clean up the streets of Bakersfield

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    Ray Scott and David Taylor talk about Keep Bakersfield Beautiful's anti-littering efforts on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

If you've walked the streets of Bakersfield, you probably aren't surprised to step on an empty bag of chips or stumble on an empty soda cup. And you've also likely noticed that most of the trash in the streets is inches away from a trash can.

So what can you do to help?

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, a local organization made up of volunteers who clean up litter, is calling for this year's volunteers.

Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox," Keep Bakersfield Beautiful chairman David Taylor, and Ray Scott, Greater Bakersfield Green Expo chairman, talked about the year-long projects the city has to keep the streets clean.

"Nobody is looking down to pick up trash and we are trying to bring pride back into the community," Taylor said.

The cleanup project used to focus on one day a year when volunteers would get together to clean up spots around Bakersfield. But with the drastic increase in littering, that has changed.

Now weekday and weekend cleanups happen, too, Taylor said.

So why is there so much litter?

A lot of it has to do with the lack of education and motivation to clean up, Scott said.

"Getting the message delivered early on has worked in other states and we are starting to push that locally," Scott said.

Many residential areas in Bakersfield recently received brand new blue recycling cans; Scott and Taylor agreed this was a great start to bringing ownership and pride back into the community.

Scott said that 75 percent of the items in a household can be recycled. Items such as cardboard, cans, glass and newspapers should all go in that recycling bin, he said.

To get more information and become a volunteer, the organization is hosting a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 1501 Truxtun Ave. Or visit www.keepbakersfieldbeautiful.us.

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