48 hours of trash
About nine weeks ago, Cameron Reid was so fed up with the overflowing trashcans in Ocean Beach that he bought and installed cardboard trash bins and placed them around town. To this day, despite having a full-time job, he continues to maintain them with the help of the community.
Parks and Recreation trash cans
“I’ve paid for everything,” Reid explains. “I’m in for about $300 so far. I started with 20, and five were removed or destroyed within a couple days. So then I put out ten more…over the past few weeks some more have been removed or destroyed. So I think I’m back to around 20.”
Reid, who’s been in OB for four years, is serving his second term as the Community Enhancement Chair for the Ocean Beach Town Council.
He volunteers along with the OB Street Stewards, who, on July 9, wrote shared his request for help via their Facebook page: ‘You may have noticed these cardboard containers put up around busy areas by the amazing Cameron Reid. As of now he is emptying all of them every couple days and it is a massive job. We are looking for some stewards to show interest in helping.’
The cardboard bins paid for by Reid. "I think I’m back to around 20.”
Reid says that by networking, he’s hoping more people will step up and help.
“We are trying to get more people involved so that I don’t have to be a the OB trash man for the rest of the year. Hoping people will each adopt a trashcan similar to adopting a street like the Street Stewards. Unfortunately it hasn’t really taken off yet so I continue to service all the cans three-four times a week.”
Community support includes sharing of dumpsters and trucks.
“Actually I keep it local,” he replies when asked about going to the landfill. “I don’t own the truck, I just borrow it during pick-up days. I use dumpsters in OB that people have offered to let me use. I really don’t care about the money spent. It’s just the man-hours. I have a full-time job, so I do this in the mornings or afternoons. I really just want more people to help or again have the city step in. The current model isn’t sustainable and truly my back is really starting to pay the price.
I had been putting them down at Veterans Plaza (Newport Ave. and Abbot) but that was just a lost cause; I had kept a couple near the encampment setup at Santa Monica (and Bacon) but after a few weeks of changing the trash there I just felt like I was exposing myself to Covid way too much…I always wear a mask and blow threw bottles of sanitizer, but changing trash goes aerosol, so I stopped going there.”
The trash bins are now located between Niagara and Narragansett; Sunset Cliffs to Abbott.
“I’m just trying to implement known solutions to some of our common community issues…I’m also corresponding secretary for the Ocean Beach Town Council so I can very much speak to the massive silence from elected officials,” he added. “We and the OBMA have sent countless messages, letters, requests, demands, pleas to the city and county for help with this and the public alcohol consumption, drug consumption and distribution, mass gatherings, unpermitted food vending, noise pollution, vehicle habitation, oversized vehicles, parking overnight in city lots…crickets back. At least before they would respond with false promises and political spin. Now they just don’t even acknowledge us.”