What is it that compels me, and other Save Our Forest Association

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(SOFA) volunteers, to hike up and down Highway 18 once every three months on a Friday morning for a few hours? The Caltrans Adopt-A- Highway Program gives locals a chance to remove all manner of trash from our Scenic Highway.

The SOFA designated stretch of roadway is from the old Cliffhanger to Rim Forest.

The beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest with trash along the road just doesn’t fit together for me, and Highway 18 receives a lot of use from locals and visitors alike. Unfortunately, many drivers and passengers find it difficult to keep trash in their vehicle until they reach their destination.

Looking at our trash bags, the top prize for sheer quantity of refuse goes to McDonald’s. Maybe they should consider a “Dispose Your Trash Responsibly” campaign to help reduce the litter. We also collected lots of plastic water bottles, aluminum cans, broken car parts, and tobacco products. What was the most exciting find? One volunteer picked up 24 spent nitrous oxide cartridges for “Sexxy Whip.” That must have been a night to remember!

A major improvement in our highway trash is the dramatic reduction in single use plastic grocery bags which were recently banned in California by SB 270. Even though it doesn’t take effect until June 2015, we can already see the benefits. Hooray for reusable grocery bags!

Thanks everyone for your continued efforts in keeping our mountains clean and green. Would you like to volunteer for the SOFA Adopt-A-Highway clean-up? Call me at 909-337-0705 and you’ll be added to our outstanding group.