free trash drop-off

Getting a Bit Trashy? Caltrans Will Take Your Unwanted Items for Free This Weekend

From 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Caltrans is accepting unwanted, oversized everyday household items for free

Spring cleaning may be long gone but it’s never too late to tidy up your space, and Caltrans is making it easier to do just that this weekend.

In honor of Coastal Cleanup Day, the agency will accept everyday household items on Saturday, free of charge, big or small. Large, unwanted items like mattresses, refrigerators, couches and other furniture will be accepted, as will small pieces of trash. Recyclables like glass, cans and oversized boxes will also be accepted.

Four Park & Ride locations in San Diego and Imperial Counties will serve as drop-off sites for unwanted junk. The participating centers are located at:

  • 9650 Mira Mesa Blvd. in Mira Mesa;
  • 710 La Costa Ave. in Encinitas;
  • 2300 Sweetwater Rd. in National City;
  • 7675 High St. in La Mesa;
  • 1102 Montenegro Way in El Centro;
  • 200 South Palm Ave. in Brawley.

Shawn Rizzutto, Caltrans Senior Transportation Engineer, urges participants to make sure they secure their large items so they don’t fall onto roads and freeways while in transit.

“The only thing we ask is if you’re going to bring debris, make sure you secure your loads so you don’t lose materials on the side of the roadway,” Rizzutto told NBC 7. “It’s to allow residents to dispose of materials that sometimes get left on the side of the road. We’re really trying to clean up California.”

It’s important to note that hazardous materials will not be accepted at Saturday’s trash drop-off. Residents can arrange to dispose of hazardous waste by clicking here.

Part of the Clean California Initiative, Caltrans’ goal is to inspire residents to keep their home state clean and vibrant.

“The purpose of this is to make sure we don’t get ash and debris into our water waster, and to really take pride in our communities and natural resources,” Rizzutto said. “San Diego, specifically, and Imperial County are very beautiful, scenic locations and we really want people to take pride in our communities, counties and state. And to keep California clean. Everyone needs to do their part.”

If you’re looking to Marie Kondo your space, Saturday is the day to do it. From 7 to 10 a.m., trash will be accepted at the aforementioned locations.

Those who miss this weekend's free opportunity can still dispose of large items at a later time by contacting waste management services.

“As part of the Clean California Initiative, we’re asking everyone to pay attention to items and dispose of them properly,” Rizzutto said. “We’re really looking to have more pride in our communities, our areas and clean up California so we can enjoy scenic destinations of San Diego.”

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