Governor Gavin Newsom wants to beautify California by cleaning up major roads and highways.
Newsom said it’s no surprise that California continues to see an increase in litter, especially with the rise in homelessness over the past year. However, he said the kind of trash he picked up was shocking.
“There’s no needles in this encampment,” he said. “There’s literally baby formula. There’s literally homework assignments. There’s broken dreams. There’s kids toys.”
With a trash picker and garbage bag in hand, the governor met with transportation workers to collect items along the I-80 MacDonald Avenue off ramp.
“Because of the pandemic, waste management companies have reported a nearly 40% increase in litter across the state,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said.
Newsom has proposed the state put $1.5 billion toward cleaning and revitalizing neighborhoods over the next three years.
“Not only, again, to remove litter, but to come back and repopulate some of these areas with plantings, as well as public art,” he said.
The plan includes 15,000 jobs for at-risk youth, formerly homeless people and those re-entering society from incarceration.