Keep Carlsbad Beautiful takes on growing trash problem

6-Mile Dam cleanup netted more than a ton of trash in 2018.

Mike Smith
Carlsbad Current-Argus
Hundreds of gallons of oil, paint and other products, along with thousands of batteries and other electronics are disposed of during Carlsbad's biannual Hazardous Waste Day, April 28, 2018 at Lake Carlsbad Beach Park.

Tons of returned used tires and trash picked up along the Pecos River indicate a growing litter problem in a booming community, according to the executive director of Keep Carlsbad Beautiful.

Mary Garwood cited an increase in the number of carloads at the Oct. 27, 2018 Household Hazardous Waste Day sponsored by the City of Carlsbad and Eddy County.

“We usually average around 300 carloads and we had 331 that day,” she said.

In addition to collecting items like paint thinner, cleaning products, anti-freeze and old cell phones, Garwood said more than 11 tons of used tires were brought in.

“I think it’s a reflection on how our community is growing,” she said.

“It’s one thing to say it. But, it’s another thing to have the tonnage there. We have the carload count there and the actual data to back it up.”

In addition to the biannual Household Hazardous Waste Day, Garwood said two cleanups were held last year on the Pecos River.

More than 300 people picked up trash at the March 3 Riverblitz, and October’s 6-Mile Dam cleanup netted 1.31 tons of trash.

Trash dumped illegally near 6-Mile Dam.

“Based on the increase in population and demand, we’re going to be doing that (cleanups) again this year,” she said.

Riverblitz is March 2 and Garwood said a date for the 6-Mile Dam cleanup is still to be determined.

Empathy for the outdoors could help the trash problem in the Carlsbad community, Garwood said.

“How do you live at home? Take a little bit of pride in our community. Even if you’re passing through or not invested in our community. Just remember that people do live here, and it doesn’t just affect us.”

Keep Carlsbad Beautiful and Carlsbad's Early College High School picked up 22 bags of trash near the Carlsbad Mall during the United Way Day of Caring Nov. 2, 2018.

Garwood said increasing garbage has a negative effect on kids, animals and the community in general.

“Then there’s a cost of picking it up,” she said. “We pay people. We have our public works department and we have our community service department.”

Garwood said if residents see trash dumped illegally, they should report it immediately.

“I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook; we get blasted that City (of Carlsbad) doesn’t do this or the city doesn’t do that,” she said.

More:Cleaning the community: Carlsbad volunteers pick up trash at Six Mile Dam

“Could you call us and let us know, because maybe we missed it?"

Garwood said the convenience station at 302 E. Plaza, the Sandpoint Landfill on U.S. 62/180 or any of the drop off stations in Eddy County are available for proper  dumping.

More:Summit Midstream, BLM partner to cleanup Hackberry Lake

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.