Trash ,Tires and Sediment in the Tijuana River

If the multiplicity of agencies working along the U.S.-Mexico border from both the U.S. and Mexico did their job, there would be little trash, sediment and waste tires in the Tijuana River. Unfortunately most look the other way until they are pressured to clean things up. Now WILDCOAST is pressuring agencies to clean up the river before winter or more unusual summer rains happen.

A pedestrian bridge made from waste-tires in the Tijuana River in Tijuana.

A pedestrian bridge made from waste-tires in the Tijuana River in Tijuana.


The Tijuana River in Tijuana just next to City Hall. There are thousands of “Zombies” or homeless men and women (mostly men) living in the river which authorities in Tijuana have shown little effort in dealing with (many were deported from the U.S.). Besides the social and crime problems as a result, the trash that is accumulating is awful. Many of the men wash in the sewage waters of the river. The minute it rains all of this will be washed downstream.


More garbage and sediment in the Tijuana River just upstream from the international border line. This scene is repeated throughout the river and its watershed. One solution would be to hire the mostly homeless “Zombies” to clean up the river and Tijuana. That would be much cheaper than letting the trash and garbage wash across the river on the other side of the border in the U.S.


Fixing Problems Along the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Hormiguita Community Center. This building was made from recycled tires.

I spent the afternoon with Paloma Aguirre of WiLDCOAST and the executive team of San Diego Coastkeeper. We took a tour of the border to get a sense of what some of the issues we are dealing with and ended the day in Los Laureles Canyon in Tijuana, just south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Community members were buys fixing up the Center.

There Steven Wright and his team from 4-Walls International are working with WiLDCOAST, Tijuana Calidad de Vida and the community to develop a demonstration project on how to use waste tires for construction. They also have a native plant garden and are working on cleaning up their community.

They are using recycled tires and have a rain water catchment system.

The community project is an oasis of hope in the border region and is an inspiring place to be.


They have a native plant nursery supported by Mexico's Environment Agency.

San Diego Coastkeeper Board member Jo Brooks, SDCK Executive Director Gale Filter and Steven Wright of 4-Walls.

No matter where you are in Mexico there is always a dog that needs to be petted. This scruffy mutt found a hole in the fence and was begging for some love!

%d bloggers like this: