LMC gets clean


A.R. Broom

Student volunteers helping to clean up the lake at LMC on Mon. Feb. 26, 2018, photo by A.R. Broom

Members of the  Los Medanos College community gathered on the campus’ waterfront to clean up litter Monday, Feb 26. The event was put on by the campus’ chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) via Student Life and was inspired by the previous lakeside cleanups.

SACNAS’ Ricardo Black helped to keep the event running smoothly. “The event is hosted by SACNAS and inspired by the Rotaract club,” said Black.

Black said he was saddened by the amount of litter around the lake. “It’s kind of inconsiderate of all the animals and people that use this lake,” said Black. “I know a lot of faculty and even students come down to kind of mellow down and just enjoy the little part of nature that we have.”

One of the possible reasons for the litter appeared to be a lack of waste bins for lake-goers to leave their garbage.

“I think putting more garbage cans would be nice. When walking around you can’t find many,” said fellow SACNAS member, Tannya Vargas.

The sustainability committee that Black is working with is planning to go around campus and put color coated recyclable trash and compost bins on campus. Black is hoping the effort will put a dent in the amount of litter found on campus.

Vargas thinks that adding bins may not fix the problem.

“The way some people interact with nature, they think it’s their personal landfill,” said Vargas.

Black agreed adding, “Awareness of what it’s costing the environment is something we probably need to spread.”

“If you pick up trash you could benefit all these animals, or if you throw trash on the ground you’re possibly harming a lot of wildlife and that might not be your intention, but it’s happening,” said Black.

The event had a turnout of about a dozen volunteers within three hours. One volunteer, Mary Abusafieh, was able to spare some time to come to the event.

“You don’t have to come here all day to make an impact,” said Abusafieh, “I know a lot of people don’t want to be seen picking up trash, which is silly because there’s nothing wrong with cleaning the area around you.”

Maggie Rajo, another LMC student, had to make time for the event. “This is important to me; it’s definitely something to prioritize,” said Rajo.

The most common items picked up during the event were cigarette butts, bread clips, bottles, swisher packets, and clear plastic. Until people quit littering, there will continue to be trash, but Black gave a bit of advice for those who could not make it to the event.

“If everyone picked up garbage on their walks there would be a lot less garbage in the lake,” said Black.

Christopher Wilson lives in the areas surrounding LMC, but visits the area around the lake often.

“Yeah I always pick stuff up and throw it away if I see it,” said Wilson. But the environment in and around the lake isn’t so bad according to Wilson.

“I’ve noticed the fish are doing a lot better,” said Wilson “The Grebes, it has to be really clean for them, so the environment is getting really good.”