In any given day, in my time as both a real estate agent and a taxi service shuttling my two boys around town, I have the opportunity to see a lot of Castro Valley. From that vantage point, I saw what seems to be a growing problem of people dumping stuff they no longer want all over town. Around this time, Stanley Roberts of KRON 4 news did one of his People Behaving Badly segments on Castro Valley. I thought this would be a good time start a simple Facebook page bring attention to the topic. Thus, Keep Castro Valley Clean was born. (I was going to call it Clean up Castro Valley, but wanted to keep it more positive.)
One of my primary goals with the page is to make it a forum to share what we as individuals can do (in our own little way) to keep Castro Valley Clean. I do not want to make it a bulletin board to complain about all the ills of Castro Valley. I think there are plenty of venues on Facebook and elsewhere for that. I’m aiming to make it a collaborate effort to not only show what is amiss with this or that, but to show what steps can be taken to correct a given issue. On many days, it’s simply posting a pic of some trash that was left on a given street, and what action was taken: recycled, thrown away, etc. Sometimes it’s a larger collection of items that somebody dumped on the side of the road.
To me, the easy thing to do is ask, “What does Castro Valley think of this?” Well, guess what, most people think it sucks! That is why, to me, the more productive thing to do is post a pic of what’s wrong and what actions you or me as individuals can take to correct it (i.e. send the pic to SeeClickFix, who in turn alerts the proper governing authority). When possible, I like to post pictures of the successful results as well. I’ve had a lot of success with removal of old furniture, illegal dumping and graffiti removal.
I’m still struggling to encourage people to publish their own posts. However the page views and page likes have been growing steadily over time. I know it’s really easy to drive or walk by something (i.e. trash) and say, “Wow that sucks! Who would do that?” It takes just a small amount of effort to take the next step, and say, “What can I do about that?” It’s that spirit that I would like to impart on people.
As of late, I’ve been focusing a bit more attention on plastic water bottles left around town. The sad truth is, a lot of this plastic never gets picked up and instead is sent to the bay. Often, when I find these bottles, they are half full. It’s great for my plants, but considering the depths of the drought we currently face, and the fact that a lot of that water is harvested from within our state, it seems like a horrible misuse of both the bottles and the fleeting water.
In my day job, I think I’ve mastered the art of taking photos of houses. However, it’s taken some time for me to figure out the best way to photograph garbage. As my images have increased in their artistic merit, so have the number of views. Regardless of your photographic background, I encourage all Castro Valley residents to check out Keep Castro Valley Clean, and share your concerns, actions and results.