Santa Cruz Hopes to Become ‘the Cleanest County in California’

Santa Cruz County has just launched an ambitious effort to eliminate trash and illegal dumping countywide. With the help of a coalition known as “Trash Talkers,” Santa Cruz hopes to become “the cleanest county in California.”

The Trash Talkers coalition includes the offices of Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, State Sen. John Laird, Speaker Designate Robert Rivas, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, County Office of Education, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, UC Santa Cruz, the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, County of Santa Cruz, City of Watsonville, City of Scotts Valley, City of Santa Cruz, City of Capitola, and the local Chambers of Commerce.

The Trash Talkers will organize a series of education campaigns and cleanups to clear watersheds, beaches, riparian and transportation corridors, agricultural land, abandoned encampments and more. At every step, the coalition will engage local businesses, schools and non-profits to make this a true communitywide effort.

“We’re doing this to keep all of Santa Cruz County and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary free of trash and debris,” said County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez in a news release. “Litter harms our environment, our health, and all sectors of our community, including businesses, agriculture, and schools. We need to be stewards of our natural environment.” 

To learn more or get involved, visit the website at