Learning from the City of Oakland's Experts on Litter Reduction
On January 16, 2018, City of Oakland’s Environmental Stewardship Analyst Jennifer Stern and Watershed Program Specialist Ben Livsey joined LPS Oaklands Earth Team to speak about the many waste projects the city is leading. Interns learned about the multiple ways waste enters our waterways and the efforts the city is making to reduce this occurrence- including but not limited to plastic bag bans, styrofoam bans, the legal prosecution of illegal dumpers, and many litter removal programs.
The city has also developed a program called “Adopt a Spot” whereby any citizen can adopt a “spot” (drain, creek, road, park, etc.) and assume responsibility for its maintenance and vitality. The city sends out emails to participants before major rain events or public events that may severely effect the area they have chosen to adopt as a reminder to either pick up trash so it isn’t washed into creeks or clear drains of debris that could cause flooding, etc.
In addition to the many projects the city has under way, the interns also learned that the city spends over 25 million dollars a year to reduce litter polluting the city’s waterways. Interns spent several minutes brainstorming the many ways that money could be used to benefit the East Oakland Community they all live in and in turn, realized they were a part of a project much bigger then our classroom.