City Staff Explores Waste Reduction Strategies in Santa Cruz

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News Date: 
September 5, 2018

Community Development and Public Works Staff visit Santa Cruz’s Downtown Streets Team and City of Santa Cruz’s Outdoor Tent Encampment

City Community Development and Public Works staff visited Santa Cruz’s Downtown Streets Team (DST) and the Santa Cruz’s sanctioned outdoor tent encampment on August 23, 2018. Community Development Staff are working with Public Works staff, Heidi Niggemeyer on the Salinas Trash Reduction Implementation Strategy, in order to meet State regulations to meet Zero Trash from municipal waste to receiving waters by 2027. The City’s consultants on this study include Advanced Survey Research (ASR) and 2ND Nature, Science and Software. The study’s expected completion is January 2019.

Community Development Staff are included on the Trash Design Team and Advisory Committee along with Greg Pensinger from DST. Greg invited Salinas staff to see how DST was able to make an impact on urban waste in Santa Cruz along while providing street outreach and case management to people experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz. DST provides case management that results with assisting people in obtaining vital documents, housing navigation services, Medical benefits, SSA, treatments and court hearings to assist participants on a pathway to stabilization, jobs and housing. DST is successful throughout the Bay Area and is interested in bringing their services to the City of Salinas. 

Based on the collected data, the City is piloting trash reduction strategies in two of the most litter prone areas of Salinas, Chinatown and Acosta Plaza, that will lead to the City's compliance with State requirements.

Community Development staff appreciated the opportunity to understand how Santa Cruz’s outdoor sanctioned tent encampment functioned. The City appreciated Santa Cruz’s efforts to provide the resources to provide security, hygiene facilities, shuttle services, and supportive services with the County to the residents in the encampment. The residents in the encampment have stabilized in their time with dedicated Santa Cruz staff and services.

Community Development appreciates the partnership between Public Works, DST, ASR and 2ND Nature.

Santa Cruz Sanctioned Encampment