Pitch In to Take Freeways From Trashy to Beautiful


With shrinking state coffers translating into mushrooming piles of litter along California freeways, one organization is collaborating with Caltrans to give residents a chance to pitch in and clean up at the end of April.

The nonprofit group Beautiful Day is organizing a massive week-long service event by the same name in the San Jose area April 21-29, including what organizers are calling Trash It, three days of cleaning up debris along Silicon Valley freeways.

“I hate driving on the highway and seeing all the litter there, especially when people from other states come into visit. I want to be proud of my state,” said Trash It team leader Kristy Espinoza. “I feel like I’m doing my part to be organizing such a large event to get rid of litter.”

Beautiful Day is looking for 600 adult volunteers to participate Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29. There are five total shifts that weekend, with one on Friday morning, and two each on Saturday and Sunday, morning and afternoon. Each shift is about three hours long. Volunteers will meet at one of four Caltrans yards in Cupertino, Milpitas and San Jose.

Trash It signups are underway now at the Beautiful Day website, along with signups for the group’s other projects during the service week.

Beautiful Day partnered with Caltrans, which is providing the online training for volunteers, as well as a safety vest, goggles and hardhat. Each volunteer must watch the video, wear a light colored long-sleeve shirt, sturdy long pants, sturdy close-toed shoes (boots preferred), thick gardening gloves and bring a water bottle.

Last November Beautiful Day and Caltrans held a Trash It event that attracted around 150 volunteers on a cold, rainy weekend. Despite the inclement weather and smaller numbers, volunteers still managed to haul in 1,200 cubic feet of trash, enough to fill a 20-foot moving van, with bags left over.

“It’s a pretty fun event even though you’re picking up trash along the highway,” said Espinoza, who also led the November event. “I love working with Caltrans, they are just so open to us coming and working with them.”

Other projects happening during Beautiful Day Week include home repairs, rehabilitating school campuses, cleaning up parks and creeks, helping the homeless, disabled and senior citizens, volunteering at a nonprofit urban farm, and more. The theme for the week is, “Serving Our Community Is How We Roll.”

For more information see the Beautiful Day website, or the Beautiful Day Facebook page.


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  1. […] is expected to utilize approximately 6,000 volunteers between April 21 and 29. Projects include cleaning area freeways, refurbishing homes, cleaning parks and neighborhoods, helping the homeless, and […]

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