RSM ZeroTrash! A HUGE success!

Toting fencing out of the Arroyo wilderness
Toting fencing out of the Arroyo wilderness
This past Saturday, we held our first RSM ZeroTrash "First Saturday" event (my original blog post referencing the event is below).  I expected roughly 25 people to attend, but even after we passed out all fifty of our T-Shirts, a steady stream of volunteers continued to arrive!  

I am just thrilled not only at the large turnout, but for the fact that these wonderful volunteers were responsible for removing a very significant amount of trash from Central Park, the bike trails and the wilderness areas.  Not only that, we all had fun doing it!!  Many thanks to Panera Bread for providing the treats, and to all our sponsors for their participation!

When I first ran for RSM City Council, I promised to do what I could to bring a ZeroTrash program to Rancho Santa Margarita.  With the tireless assistance of Vanessa Scarbo-Gaudette, Christine Holguin, Patsy Morris, Suzanne Singh, the Bell Tower Foundation and all our business sponsors , this dream has now been realized.

With your participation, our RSM chapter of the ZeroTrash program will:

Clean up our community and the surrounding wilderness areas;

Help satisfy high school requirements for student service hours;

Help scouts achieve badges;

Educate regarding the importance of environmental awareness;

Allow for our business community to participate in beautifying our city; and

Provide a new civic opportunity for all.

All of this, without spending one cent of taxpayer money!

RSM ZeroTrash will meet the first Saturday of every month for just two hours, 10:00 AM to noon, and we will continue to beautify our community.  Won't you please help?  It's a great opportunity for all of us to do something good for...well...all of us!  Our next gathering will take place on Saturday, May 3!

For more information, please feel free to contact the Bell Tower Foundation at admin@belltowerfoundation.org, or contact me directly at BMcGirr@cityofrsm.org.

Mr. McGirr serves as the Mayor Pro Tem for the city of Rancho Santa Margarita. He resides in RSM with his wife, Julie, and their three children


Litter.  I hate litter!  I pick it up every single day as I walk my two pugs, and it keeps on coming back.  A few weeks ago, I carried three sheets of aluminum siding, two large styrofoam containers, a metal construction sign and countless bottles and cans out of the Arroyo, wondering how and why anyone would even consider polluting this beautiful environment.   

Years ago, Laguna Beach resident Chip McDermott was just like me.  He was frustrated seeing trash in the streets and wilderness areas of his beautiful city. As a result, he rallied his community and created the "ZeroTrash" program, starting an environmental movement that truly thinks globally, but acts locally. Just as important, he found that he was not the only one who wanted to do something to protect and beautify his community.  

In addition to organizing the community to remove litter from the streets and surrounding wilderness, ZeroTrash also advocates for city governments to provide a greater infrastructure of public recycling, trashcans and cigarette butt disposal. Quite simply, ZeroTrash provides all of us the opportunity to take personal responsibility for our environment, and to pass these lessons along to our children.

The ZeroTrash movement has thrived, and along with the Bell Tower Foundation and the RSM Chamber of Commerce, I'm very proud to help start our own chapter of ZeroTrash movement here in Rancho Santa Margarita!

"First Saturday" is the cornerstone of the ZeroTrash movement. It’s a monthly open-house event which rallies residents and local businesses to “Pick-Up” the streets, parks and wilderness areas.  Everyone is welcome: parents, children, students, scouts, neighbors, church groups, sports teams – anyone interested in having fun while keeping RSM beautiful!  Are you a student that needs to satisfy your school service hours?  A scout that would like to earn your badges?  Or are you like us; someone who would simply like to do something to beautify your city and the surrounding wilderness areas?  

Please join us for our first "First Saturday" event on April 5 at 10:00 am at Panera Bread, located at 30642 Santa Margarita Pkwy!  Panera Bread is graciously providing the muffins and drinks, and with the assistance of the ZeroTrash program and our own business community, we will be providing the T-shirts, trash pickers, etc.

We are blessed to live in this beautiful community, a city designed with care and surrounded by pristine wilderness.  But with blessings come responsibilities.  Won't you please join our RSM ZeroTrash movement?  

For more information, please feel free to contact the Bell Tower Foundation at admin@belltowerfoundation.org, or contact me directly at BMcGirr@cityofrsm.org.

Remember, it’s not just about the trash TODAY – it’s about the trash TOMORROW and teaching future generations the importance and the rewards of keeping our community clean and beautiful.  See you April 5!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Craig W. Leinert April 07, 2014 at 08:17 PM
Andy, I see teenagers tossing their fast food trash out the windows all the time. Glad to see that someone else cares enough to not only pick it up, but to organize people to help. I congratulate Mr. McGirr and the Belltower people for what they are doing.
Robbie-Ann Oliveira April 08, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Its sad but true just where I live in my own community in the carports there is trash from fast food left or people don't put their trash bags into the trash bins no they are to lazy to lift the lid, they leave their trash bags outside or food trays down on the ground which feed the wild life and then it blows around....I do pick.up what I can but this is just Lazy people.....
Brainwashed_In_Church April 08, 2014 at 09:38 AM
"I see teenagers tossing their fast food trash out the windows all the time." Ya right.
Morgan April 08, 2014 at 03:21 PM
Andy, I see it too! Also, many people who eat outdoors (at restaurants or picnics), will often leave their trash, or watch it blow away in the wind. On family vacations, my dad would take my brothers and me hiking or to the beach, and we wouldn't be allowed to return to the hotel unless we each had both hands full of trash we had cleaned up from the hike. We always went back to pick up more.
Brainwashed_In_Church April 08, 2014 at 04:57 PM
"all the time" and "many"; How about less than 0.69% of people litter? What I do see ("all the time" and "many") are those annoying pin signs on the exits of shopping centers - lately it's been Academic Learning Labs placing their signs advertising tutoring. I see it at the library, freeway off ramps, and the exits of the supermarkets around RSM. When I see the signs, I pull them out and destroy them. The jerk off who runs the labs doesn't think it's a problem to pollute our community with his ugly signs.


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