Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The sorry state of San Jose streets and creeks. Bag ban fail

March 2 after a major rainstorm. One of the few since the drought see how much garbage had been left behind many others had been washed towards the bay and ocean. After two years of inplementing the once toughest bag ban/fee ordinance at that time in the state and maybe the nation I can safely say the ordinance is to blame for making San Jose the trashiest city in CA if not the country. Not even The greater LA metropolitan area come close of being as trashed as SJ despite having a larger and more diverse population and having a trashy polluted reputation. Most of the 80 incorporated areas in LA county have no bag or polystyrene restrictions at all. I noticed most of the trash blight issues are due to spills from properly disposed trash not litterbugs and grocery bags are the best instrument to control such spills an spreading of garbage of all sorts. Most plastic film found on the ground any where in the country bag ban or not are the so called protective bags that wrap products. Most residents reuse grocery bags which is the best tool to wrap these securely in packs. When bags are banned in more and more cities they often have to turn to less reliable bags(cheap thin bin liners, or hard to secure large glade bin liners  to contain such garbage often resulting in spills during garbage collection or on windy days. If the goal of banning the bag is to protect the bay this shows it had exactly the opposite effect with dire consequences. More marine life are going to be killed with the greater spread of loose plastic film and other harmful garbage now that it's harder to secure to keep from flying apart.

Here are some pictures I took on March, 2, 2014 along Coyote creek trail. This is next to Tully rd and library
Despite the sign with a strong message prohibiting dumpling garbage surround it.
Coyote creek by the Tully Rd underpass almost like a landfill.
This kind of plastic is far more commonly found on the ground almost anywhere. No bag ban or polystyrene ban would do anything about this.
Coyote creek beneath Tully Road. Almost like a waste dump. Comparably the creek underpasses in other cities are pretty much spotless.
How does the bag ban make water ways cleaner or help meet water trash reduction goals when the rest of that garbage continue to flood into the waterways? Especially now that the best weapon against loose garbage of all types had been banned.
Bag bans does not control this kind of plastic which litter the landscape hundreds of times more often than grocery bags.

A mountain of garbage on the other (west) side of coyote creek banks.
A broader look of the bank.
More view towards the creek. Lots of garbage.
Stray bin liner. The truth is bin liners whether the thin roll ones or the large thick ones with ties don't secure garbage as well as traditional grocery bags so they fall apart scattering their contents and fly away.
 Thick "reusable" plastic bag, the kind officially exempt from the ban in San Jose. Though I find as with bin liners these when used to contain garbage they are hard to tie up. Therefore as with bin liners garbage can easily spill as the knot comes loose easily. 
 Overflowing garbage can on Coyote creek trail just south of Tully rd. At least some people are smart to reuse plastic bags to keep garbage from blowing away.
West Bank of Coyote creek trail just west of Tully community branch library.
The below picture is take on Tuers rd. Just east of Coyote Creek trail and Los Logos golf course.
Good evidence of garbage spill. Though this retail plastic bag, the first and only one I seen all this time prevented the garbage inside which would contain many environmentally toxic items including pieces of plastic from spilling. The bag is a hero protector of the environment in this case. Though Kiddos for the resident who used it tightly wrap their trash. I bet he shopped outside San Jose after the ban took effect for these "hero" bags. What we can learn is that while no garbage truck can be spill proof but wrapped garbage beats unwrapped when it comes time to clean up the mess and most importantly bags are Heros and not villains when it comes to protecting the environment and our landscape from blight.
A farther view of the scene shows other garbage spilled on the side of the road. Prime evidence of a trash truck spill on this spot between Tuers rd and Pusateri way. The hero bag I mentioned earlier done a great job to prevent a bigger mess in this scenario.
Below are the pictures taken on Coyote creek trail by the Yerba Buena Rd. underpass
While not as bad as around the Tully rd. underpass there are still plenty of litter scattered about in the creek area. 
Stray plastic packaging next to creek
Close up view.
View from Coyote creek trail a half mile just north of Yerba Buena Ave. overpass many dumped furniture in the creek.

The following pictures are taken on Senter Rd just south of Sylvandale ave on the east sidewalk. Another scene of garbage spill.
Here is another one of those plastic film often used as excuses to push bag bans across cities though in reality bans would not reduce these as they are various types of plastic film not store checkout  bags and banning them is not possible at the city level.  
Looking south on the east sidewalk on Senter rd.

In addition to pictures
I have video images of all the areas I been to proving date, time, and gps coordinates.

San Jose is a great testing ground for such an ordinance as the city covers a large area and have a wide range of demographics and having the toughest ban. While some call this a successful program. These pictures explain the raw truth which the media usually covers up. Would you want your city to turn into another San Jose?

Is the San Jose's pioneer bag ordinance a great idea for your city 

No comments:

Post a Comment