SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — An environmental protection group says its trash boom in Tijuana has kept 73,000 pounds of trash and plastics from reaching the Tijuana River Valley north of the border.

Wildcoast, which is based in Imperial Beach, California, says a lot of this trash would have found its way to the Pacific Ocean.

“The idea is to put more trash booms and to try to prevent tons of plastics to come down,” said Fay Crevoshay, director of communications and policy for Wildcoad, which installed the trash boom in 2021.

Trash boom installed in Tijuana last year by Wildcoast an environmental protection group based in Imperial Beach, Calif. (Courtesy: Wildcoast)
Fay Crevoshay is Wildcoast’s director of communication and policy. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

Wildcoast has one boom just north of the border in an area known as “Smugglers Gulch,” but maintaining it has proven to be costly.

“It costs us $2 million to clean it up one time per year,” she said. “The solution is really in Mexico, it’s much cheaper and that’s where the problem starts and that’s where we have to stop it.”

Crevoshay says once they collect more trash and plastics, they have to figure out a way to recycle them, something that’s proven to be difficult.

Northern Mexico lacks recycling plants and all materials collected in cities such as Tijuana, have to be sent 1,500 miles away to the city of Toluca, near Mexico City, creating more pollution in the form of emissions and gas consumption by the trucks hauling the recycled products, she said.

“We have to put recycling plants in Baja California,” she said.

Crevoshay says their goal is to install at least two more booms in Tijuana by 2024 if they can secure the funding from companies such as Coca-Cola and other benefactors.