Basura Bash, the largest single-day waterway cleanup in Texas, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event serves as part cleanup and part awareness tool for a community that may not realize how much basura, or trash, ends up in San Antonio’s rivers, creeks, and streams.
More than 2,000 volunteers, organized under the San Antonio River Foundation‘s nonprofit umbrella, collected 45 tons of trash in 2015. This year’s event will focus on more than 20 segments of local waterways across San Antonio.
Individuals, companies, clubs and organizations are encouraged to volunteer and should bring mud boots, long-sleeved shirts, and work gloves.
The annual cleanup promotes the importance of keeping our river and tributaries tidy while increasing stewardship through volunteerism.
Suzanne Scott, general manager of San Antonio River Authority, credits the annual event as a key factor in keeping waterways clear of trash and discouraging illegal dumping.
“Area communities and an amazing group of leaders of the annual Basura Bash have helped raise awareness of the amount of trash that ends up in our creeks and rivers,” she said. “Through this community focus one day a year, citizens work to enhance the ecology of waterways and watersheds, while protecting the value our creeks and rivers bring to the city’s quality of life.”
Basura Bash sponsors – H-E-B, the River Authority, CPS Energy, HDR Engineering, Society of American Military Engineers, Silver Eagle Distributors, Raba-Kistner Environmental Consultants, and Ximenes & Associates, among others – have joined with the City and County, but the success of the Bash relies on the volunteers who are willing to get dirty while cleaning up our local waterways.
Ever since the first event in 1994, hundreds of tons of trash and thousands of tires have been pulled from the San Antonio River and its tributaries. In 2015, 159 tires were collected and almost 2,000 pounds of metal was salvaged for recycling. In 2013, an entire automobile was recovered from Leon Creek.
Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales (D5) said San Antonio has come a long way in keeping our communities clean.
“A responsible and environmentally-conscious community is critical for healthy and sustainable neighborhoods,” she said.
*Top image: Volunteers fan out to collect trash along the San Antonio River during the 2013 Basura Bash. Photo courtesy Basura Bash.