San Francisco

Park Officials Hope Removing Trash Cans Will Help Keep Ocean Beach Clean

Trash cans have been removed from a section of Ocean Beach in San Francisco in an effort to clean up the beach.

Organizers behind the plan said the idea has worked before. Beach visitors on Wednesday were surprised to see trash cans were removed in the area and do not think it will work.

"I think we should take care of our own trash, but at the same time this is the coast and we do need to keep the coast clean," said Joseph Chavez, who visited Ocean Beach on Wednesday.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area knows removing trash cans to clean up a beach sounds counter-intuitive, but the trash cans themselves were becoming part of the problem.

"What was happening was they were getting filled by people who were trying to put over-sized items into them and when they couldn't fit, they put them up against the promenade or stair wall, causing garbage to spread," said Adrienne Freeman, Golden Gate National Recreation Area spokesperson

Freeman said animals also spread garbage in their search for food and people do the same when searching for recyclables.

The idea is already working at Stinson Beach in Marin County and at Baker Beach in San Francisco, according to Freeman.

"Take personal responsibility, pack trash out that you brought to the beach," Freeman said. "It's working."

Still, many people have their doubts.

"I kind of think that's a lame law," San Francisco-resident Katrina Reichardt said. "I don't think the majority of people will be responsible."

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