One Person's Trash is Another Person's TreasureIt was a parade of people tossing with busted-up personal treasures and crushed breakables showing up in the parking lot of the Napa School District Headquarters which is also where Napa Union High School is located.
When the earthquake stopped clocks at 3:20am Sunday morning dumping locations had to be set up and there's been more trash than space to put them.
Public Works Director Jacques Larochelle says “We have been somewhat overwhelmed I have to admit, but we are putting additional resources, trucks, loader to load up trucks and take it to the trasner station.”
It did get overwhelming in the parking lot of the school district. Just after the quake this was deemed an official dumping site. That changed, but somehow the word didn't get out. I showed a list of the new locations to locals as they came to drop off trash, but no one I asked knew there had been a change.
And, not only people were bringing broken goods to this and other locations, they were bringing things that clearly weren't damaged in the earthquake like shoes, sofas and mattresses. There was also lots of e-waste. There were TV monitors big and small that looked okay. This was not a place for non-earthquake trash, but it was happening anyway.
Amanda Downs with Napa Parks and Recreation told me something I already knew. “We're even getting people coming pulling trash out of the dumpsters and taking it home because there's nothing wrong with it.”
Some of those digging through the trash homeless. Others were looking things for their home.
But, was there something wrong with such an unsupervised dump at a high school where we saw little kids playing just feet from broken glass. We took the question to city hall.
I asked Public Works Director LaRochelle, "If somebody goes through those piles of rubble they can get hurt right? Are you concerned about that? He replied "People are going to do what people are going to do. We're not actively pursuing that and chasing people away. We're busy looking at other things right now.”
But, they did act on this. 2 and a half hours after our interview we saw students and school district personnel asking people to go to other lots to drop off their trash. A half hour later a new dumpster showed up. Then, a skiploader and trash was finally being moved away and people were being kept away.
Finally, in the category of 'one person's trash is another person's treasure' meet Jessica Provenza and her mom Karen who told me “we're collecting rocks from sites and other garbage to make artwork to donate back to the charities." "Isn't that dangerous." I asked. "all the broken glass?" Jessica said that's what they want... pieces of broken glass to make things to give people hope.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?