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El Cajon focused on cleaner neighborhoods in 2023

Coming on Jan. 1, 2023, the city of El Cajon is launching a new program designed to encourage clean neighborhoods and community pride with its Neighborhood Cleanup Program. This is a free City service created to enable local residents within the city to divert trash from the streets and improve curb appeal.

The program is open to both residents and commercial entities, including business complexes and multi-family residential areas. The City and EDCO Disposal will provide all necessary cleanup supplies, including green bins, dumpsters, trash pickers and bags.

Deputy Director of Public Works–Operations Mike James said the program originated back in February when the city council established its 2022 action plan and one of the six priorities focused on city beautification.

“It is a great way to help empower the residents to come together to create a program with their neighbors to be able to cleanup whatever they would like to in their immediate area,” he said. “It is twofold. The residents will be initiating the cleanup and beautification projects. Also, the city comes into play and partners with them because we can provide some tools and guidance. Our partnership with EDCO provides them with the roll off so they can dispose of the trash or debris that they pick up.”

James said the application is short and can be completed online.

“We encourage a neighborhood captain, and this person will bring the rest of the neighborhood into play, share what kind of program they have in mind. What date, what location, and all that goes into the application process. The Public Works Department receives it. We process it. I am involved in the operation side where we will go out and assess the location, work with the site captain. Talk about what projects they are looking at doing. What tools and supplies they would need. And we try and provide all that for them by the date of their event,” he said.

James said the City asks for about three weeks to get through that process from application to getting supplies.

“Depending on the project, maybe we may need more time, maybe less time, but that is the fluid communication process between the individual requesting the project and the city,” he said.

The project is open to any resident or commercial entity, including single-family neighborhoods, apartments, mobile home parks, and business complexes.

“If they are interested in coming together and beautifying their area, we want to make this process work for them so they can be successful in doing it,” he said.

All Neighborhood Cleanupevents are resident/applicant led and managed. Participation requires a signed release-of-liability waiver for all volunteers. Anyone under the age of 18 needs a waiver signed by their guardian. Applications must be submitted at least three weeks in advance of the event.

To learn more or to sign-up to host a neighborhood cleanup event, please visit

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Source: East County Californian

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