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San Jose Cleans Up Decades-Old Trash, E-Waste From Dry Creeks

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – There's at least one silver lining to California's four-year drought. In San Jose, volunteers have been able to clean out decades old garbage stuck at the bottom of dry creek beds.

"This past year, the creek levels were really low, because it was the fourth year of drought. And so, in some places there was no water in parts of the creek," Emily Kurth of the city's Environmental Services Department told KCBS.

Kurth said that was a good thing for one reason: volunteers were able to clean out tons of old garbage that's been waterlogged for decades.

"The drought is still a serious concern…people should still find ways to conserve water, in their homes, outdoors," Kurth said. "But one silver lining we found in the drought is we were able to clean up this trash that otherwise would have been there much longer, if the water levels weren't so low."

According to Kurth, volunteers cleaned up 73 percent more garbage from so-called hotspots.

Some examples of the old junk include computer monitors from the 1980s, floppy disks, cassette tape decks and even typewriters. Much of the e-waste was discarded before e-recycling programs were widely available.

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