OAKLAND, Calif. - Picking up trash has never been so sweet. At MyGoodness, a soft-serve ice cream shop in Oakland, people could exchange bags of garbage for a cone Saturday.
"The response has been fantastic," said owner Bear Silber. Silber said they collected 52 bags of trash in this first ice cream social neighborhood cleanup.
Silber said he wanted to encourage people to keep the community clean.
"Me and my son went out this morning and tried to clean up ourselves, and we collected a bag of trash. There was a lot more trash we saw after that, so it takes more than one person going out there," said Silber.
We saw lots of kids taking part in the cleanup and getting ice cream vouchers. Parents told us it’s important for everyone – big and small – to chip in.
"It helps instill a sense of ownership. You know we are out here around the lake a lot, and we notice the trash. But we are not actively picking it up," said Oakland resident Ken Lewis.
"I definitely believe in a better, clean community. So it’s good for all of us," said Nisha Sharma, who was picking up trash with her 4-year-old son.
Caltrans also supported the project by arranging trash pickup at the end of the day and by providing coloring books for kids.
Oakland city council member Nikki Fortunato Bas also stopped by the event. She called this one example of how people can do something that doesn’t take long but still has a big impact. Bas said the city is also dedicating more resources to cleanup efforts.
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"We need everyone to pitch in," she said. "You know we are as a city providing more resources to keep our city clean. We have been able to fill 40 positions at public works, and it also helps because the lake has so many visitors in addition to our local residents."
Silber said he hopes to make this cleanup an annual event.