Garbage piles up in San Gabriel Mountains after Fourth of July – NBC Los Angeles

The San Gabriel Mountains, a popular destination for hiking, swimming, and camping, are facing a growing problem with massive amounts of trash left behind by visitors following the holiday weekend.

Just a few miles up the canyon on Highway 39, videos shared by volunteers show piles of garbage scattered on the ground and overflowing from trash bins, with animals seen scavenging through the debris. 

“Trash piles have really gone out of control,” said Nathan Nunez, of the Canyon City Environmental Project. “We pick up a lot of different things. Picking up trash the size of small cars is really unacceptable.”

Nunez is one of many volunteers coming out this week to help clean up the mess. In response to the mounting trash problem, a major cleanup event was also scheduled for Sunday, with dozens of volunteers expected to participate.

“We’re doing the best we can to help mitigate this trash issue, but also to keep bringing awareness to this problem that needs to be addressed,” Nunez added.

Joel Glen, another volunteer with the East Fork’s Golden Preservation, highlighted the scale of the issue in Oaks Picnic Area, a popular spot. 

“Within an hour, we pick up hundreds of pounds of trash. Sometimes tons,” Glen stated, referring to efforts in just a half-mile radius.

Local families who frequent the mountains for recreation have expressed concern about local wildlife. 

“It has to be cleaned because that’s where the animals live,” a visitor emphasized.

While some cleanup crews were observed working in the canyon, NBC4 News has reached out to the U.S. Forest Service for comment but has not received a response at the time of reporting.

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