Citizens pick up tons of trash

San Martin whips itself into shape with second Trash Bash

No puddle goes unsplashed for Yelmar Acosta, 3, and mom Yelzy Soberanis during San Martin’s March Trash Bash.

The community of San Martin held a citywide cleanup Saturday, March 24—the second of its kind since the small unincorporated town of 7,800 added a chamber of commerce in August 2017. The County of Santa Clara acknowledged San Martin with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday morning—honoring its Trash Bash as an ongoing community event.

Connie Ludewig, San Martin Chamber of Commerce membership chair, said the group of more that 85 volunteers gathered from local schools and organizations collected 4,000 pounds of trash including soiled baby diapers, a dead goat in a bag, and an undelivered package that was taken to the San Martin post office.

Ludewig praised the efforts of the community for all the people who showed their support for “The Jewel of South County—to protect our history, environment, and rural neighborhoods.”

With the rains clear for much of the morning, the organizers were delighted with the energy of the crowd and the people who showed up to contribute.

“It warms my heart to know that there were community-minded folks from as far as San Jose, to San Juan Bautista who showed up, and collected at least two tons of trash from the San Martin roads and creeks,” said Ludewig.

Trina Hineser president of the San Martin Neighborhood Alliance and community liaison for the San Martin Chamber of Commerce, said the community is passionate about efforts because San Martin has long been viewed as a dumping zone and residents are working hard to rebrand themselves as “The Jewel of South County.”

“Being active to beautify our area is one way the community is coming together to do that,” Hineser said. “We’ve seen the county step up and acknowledge the work we are doing. We’ve seen code enforcement more proactively addressing the concerns in our community.”

Hineser said since the development of neighborhood alliance and the chamber, plus regular town hall meetings, the residents are more dedicated and energetic about their community.

By being proactive and providing information ahead of time and getting community involvement and offering solutions together, Hineser hopes to build a stronger community.

“We are gaining momentum and each time one more person is willing to pick something up,” Hineser said.