New group organizes neighborhood clean-up

Getting rid of litter takes work!

On Saturday, May 31, local residents, JROTC members and other students teamed up with the SF Department of Public Works to sweep streets, pick up trash and collect household items and electronic waste. Dumpsters were filled to the brim and e-waste was collected.

The cleanup was organized by Keep Our Neighborhood Clean (KONC), a new neighborhood organization started early this year by neighbors Jean Barish and Judith Kahn. The group's goal is to tackle the growing litter, dumping and graffiti problem in the Richmond. They decided the best way to start was to organize a clean-up that focused attention on the problem.

Flyers went up in the Richmond to recruit neighbors. With the help of George Washington High School's administration, students from the school were recruited. The JROTC program has a long history of working on community projects, including helping with the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) and the city's Disaster Registry Program. Close to 50 cadets came ready to work.

The Community Clean Team provided gloves, brooms, plastic bags and clean-up tools and picked up the collected trash. To keep the hungry workers fed, Hi-Tech Recycling, DeLanos, Starbucks, Safeway at the Beach, Gastronom Market and the House of Bagels all stepped up with donations. In addition to its food donation, Delano's provided the space for free e-waste recycling the day of the event that got computers, monitors, copy machines, cables and cell phones to the folks at HI-TEC recycling.

"We appreciated the opportunity to be part of an effort to clean up the Richmond. It gave the Delanos and me great satisfaction to be involved with the community," DeLano's manager Patty Uyeda said.

Barish believes the clean-up was a big step toward a more livable neighborhood.

"The support and enthusiasm of so many people in the community was heartening. When everyone pitches in, it makes a big difference," she said.

Some tips to help keep the Richmond clean include:

• Toss trash in garbage cans and set a good example by reminding children not to litter;

• No dumping on the street corner! Take advantage of Sunset Scavenger's free furniture and household waste pickup by calling (415) 330-1300;

• Use e-recycling, not the sidewalk, to get rid of electronic waste;

• Report illegal dumping and graffiti by calling 311.

KONC is planning to hold its next cleanup in September or October, which it hopes will expand to include the collection of household paints and solvents. Interested individuals and groups should contact [email protected] to get information and become involved.