Trash left in neighborhood months after clean up

Neil Morales picked up trash in one local neighborhood as part of the Great American Clean-up. It's been two months, and he says the city never came to pick up his area's trash bags and debris.
If you're driving down certain streets in Northeast Bakersfield, you will see some areas look like a dump.

"It's trash everywhere and around the dumpsters and not in the dumpsters," said Gloria Willson, a local resident. “It’s on the streets and in the gutters and even in the park."

Neil Morales says he and a group of volunteers picked up trash in the area near Beale Avenue and Grace Street for four hours one day. He joined close to 8,000 participants in the Great American Clean-up event in April.

He says they put the trash in bags and placed the bulky items in piles for city crews to collect later that day. But two months later, Morales says he hasn't seen any changes.

"I saw that all the trash was still piled in the same place, just as we left it," he says. "Only it's scattered again because there's kids and animals, and we had some high winds recently, it's just a mess again."

And the area is across the street from Jefferson Park. There is so much trash is left out that local kids play in it.

"People see that no one else is showing pride, there's mattresses and dining room furniture," Morales says. "You just throw your trash out when you see everyone else out doing the same thing."

The Bakersfield Solid Waste Division superintendent Sal Moretti said crews picked up 200,000 pounds of trash in more than 100 sites during the clean-up, but the workers left some spots that were outside city lines.

"We were way all over the place trying to find the litter and bags that were collected by all the volunteers that showed up," Moretti said. "I think we did a good job of finding that litter within the city limits, unfortunately, this pile of material was outside the city limits and not in the area we looked for the bags."

City crews began collecting the bulky items on Monday and Moretti says they will work with the county to get the area cleaned.
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