When we see little bits of litter here and there, it doesn’t really shock anyone. With the wind and some open containers, it happens. But when you gather it all into one place, the magnitude of the problem becomes obvious.

Last month 20 residents of La Choya gathered at the community center, armed themselves with bags, gloves, grabbers, water and doughnuts. Then they headed in every direction for one hour to scour the community for litter.

The results were impressive!

Zofemat, the agency that helps assure Peñasco’s clean beaches, arrived to haul away the trash; but had to make a second run. The bags of litter and three old tires more than filled the bed of their pickup.

The effort was spearheaded by Dot Freeman, a Board member of Vecinos de la Choya, the organization that oversees services for the community. Dot is chairman of the Keep Choya Beautiful Committee.

“It’s great that our community has taken action to keep Choya Bay clean,” Dot said. “We saw a tremendous amount of enthusiasm at the last two cleanup events and the results were fantastic. Thanks to everyone who helped, including Zofemat who hauled away several truckloads of trash.”

She said they plan to have a community clean-up three or four times a year and she is working to arrange bulk-trash service for large items, perhaps twice a year.

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Before: Some 20 neighbors in La Cholla gathered on June 1 for a community cleanup.

After: The bags of litter overflowed the bed of Zofemat’s pickup, requiring two trips to the dump. The community plans to do clean-up campaigns three or four times a year.