Trash Reduction

Reducing trash pollution in local creeks, rivers and the San Francisco Bay is a high priority for municipal agencies in the Santa Clara Valley.  SCVURPPP member agencies have reduced trash pollution in the Bay by preventing and managing stormwater trash in several ways, including:

  • Local ordinances limiting single-use grocery bags & foam foodware
  • Trash capture devices in the storm drain system
  • Creek & shoreline cleanup events

Explore this section to learn more about trash impacts and regulations, trash sources in the Santa Clara Valley, what SCVURPPP and member agencies are doing to help, and how to measure progress in reducing urban trash loads to local creeks and the San Francisco Bay.

To support municipal agencies in these efforts, SCVURPPP has conducted on-land trash assessments, studied the effectiveness of trash control strategies including street sweeping and screens on storm drain inlets, and continued a webinar series via the Zero Litter Initiative (ZLI).  These efforts have assisted municipal agencies in achieving reduction goals using multiple control approaches and assessment techniques.

Water Impacts and Regulations

Environmental Impact Trash is a serious problem for water bodies in the San Francisco Bay, local creeks, estuaries, and the Pacific Ocean. Data suggest that plastic trash persists for hundreds of years in the environment and can pose a threat to wildlife through ingestion, entrapment, as well as harboring chemicals harmful to the aquatic environment....

Read more ...

Trash Sources in the Santa Clara Valley

SCVURPPP Trash Generation and Drainage Area Maps Baseline Trash Generation maps of SCVURPPP member agencies show the levels of trash observed circa 2009 on streets, sidewalks and other land areas draining to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). The Drainage Area maps show the land areas that are > 10,000 ft2 and directly connected to the...

Read more ...


Trash pollution is a major issue in streets, local creeks, rivers and the San Francisco Bay. What are SCVURPPP and member agencies doing to help reduce trash pollution in the Santa Clara Valley? SCVURPPP and member agencies work to address trash concerns in a variety of ways: (1) At the source (2) In neighborhoods &...

Read more ...

Measuring Progress

SCVURPPP member agencies make sure their efforts are reducing trash through various monitoring activities. Read on to learn more about: On-Land Visual Trash Assessments, Creek & Shoreline Monitoring, Operation & Maintenance, and Additional Resources. On-Land Visual Trash Assessments Staff assessing the visual impact of trash that could get into stormwater (Photo by Program Staff) This...

Read more ...

Trash Reduction Data

Trash in receiving waters data will be included in the Water Quality Monitoring Data page. Explore Water Quality Monitoring Data Return to Trash Reduction Main Page

Read more ...

Trash Reduction Documents

11/16/2021Trash True Source ControlsReports
7/16/2021New and Redevelopment Projects Litter Reduction Fact SheetFact Sheets, ,
4/13/2020Volunteer Creek Cleanups in Santa Clara CountyFact Sheets
3/1/2018On-land Visual Trash Assessment MethodologyGuidance Documents
9/1/2016Storm Drain Trash Monitoring and Characterization ProjectReports
7/26/2016On-land Visual Trash Assessment Database User Documentation ver 2.0Reports
7/26/2016Trash Assessment Training presentation handoutWorkshops
7/26/2016Trash Assessment Training Workshop – July 26, 2016Workshops
1/19/2016Litter Practices Recommendations for Solid Waste Franchise AgreementsReports
6/3/2014Litter Prevention & Management Solid Waste Collection Best Management PracticesReports,
6/1/2014How Trash Gets Into Creeks posterPosters
2/1/2014Pilot Trash Assessment StrategyReports
2/1/2014Long-Term Trash Load Reduction PlansWork Plans
9/15/2013Long-Term Plan Draft Final MapsMaps
2/1/2012Short-Term Trash Load Reduction PlansWork Plans
2/1/2012Preliminary Baseline Trash Generation Rates for San Francisco Bay Area MS4sReports
4/25/2011Baseline Trash Loading Rates from Bay Area Municipal Stormwater SystemsReports
4/21/2011Method to Estimate Baseline Trash Loads from Bay Area Municipal Stormwater SystemsReports
2/1/2011BASMAA Trash Baseline Loads and Load Reduction Trackng – MRP Provision C.10.a(ii) Progress ReportReports
6/29/2010Trash Hot Spot Selection ReportReports
9/28/2007Restricted contentGuidance Documents,