Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington’s office coordinated a community cleanup
■ Kyle Selby / Reporter
On Saturday, Sept. 16, Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington hosted a Community Cleanup event, where local volunteers were invited to help beautify parts of the city of Hemet and the unincorporated area of Valle Vista.
“We shouldn’t just rely on government to always come in and help solve the problem,” expressed Washington. “We all have to do it together.”
A whopping 65 volunteers participated alongside Washington, picking up debris – sometimes large or hazardous items – that were illegally dumped around the community.
“One thing that was somewhat disheartening was that we found around 40 hypodermic needles,” said Washington’s Chief of Staff Jeff Comerchero, who admitted that the effort wasn’t entirely prepared for that.
Nearly 50 tons of disposable items (things that the trash company wouldn’t normally pick up) were disposed of that Saturday morning.
Several Riverside County agencies got involved, including the Department of Waste Resources, Code Enforcement, the Sheriff’s Department, the Transportation Department, Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District, and Waste Management, Inc.
Volunteers from Golden Era Productions focused on the bridge at the intersection of State Street and Soboba Road, which was well past due for a new paint job.
Valle Vista Assembly of God focused its efforts on the alleyways of Marine Drive, where Sheriff’s Capt. Leonard Purvis offered his own handiwork.
A vacant lot off New Chicago Avenue was cleansed of illegally dumped items, thanks to the help of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Near Hemet High School, the Transportation Department trimmed trees on Stanford Street. Hemet Gate Keepers – who regularly perform weekly cleanups in the community – and City Councilwoman Karlee Meyer volunteered their time as well.
Finally, Waste Resources allowed residents to self-haul items they want to dispose of, for free. All you needed to show was proof of residency.