Hundreds of volunteers scoured local beaches Thursday to clean up after this year’s Independence Day crowds.
By lunchtime, volunteers had collected 1,493 pounds of trash from four cleanup sites along the coast – Ocean Beach Pier, Fiesta Island, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and the Oceanside Pier.
The cleanup was hosted by the Surfrider Foundation San Diego along with I Love a Clean San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper.
The annual event is organized to keep trash and recyclables from washing out into the sea.
“Most of what our volunteers pick up could be avoided if we chose reusable items instead of single-use ones,” coordinator Mitch Silverstein said in a news release.
He suggested people use reusable bags, water bottles and coffee mugs to cut down their waste footprint.
This year, volunteers reported collecting more than 8,000 cigarette butts along with a garage door opener and a head massager.
The holiday in the middle of the week brought an estimated 322,500 people to the beaches within the city of San Diego. As a comparison, over the last three years, when the holiday was closer to a weekend, 537,000 to 599,000 people have used the beaches over three days.