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Home : News : News
NEWS | Jan. 31, 2022

Basura Bash returns Feb. 19 after last year’s pandemic cancelation

By Sarah Otto 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron

The Basura Bash is back on at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 19 after being canceled last year due to the pandemic and volunteers are needed.

Since 1995, the Basura Bash has helped to clean up San Antonio watersheds by removing tons of litter and trash from creeks and lakes, helping keep wildlife habitats and waterways clean.

Volunteers may participate individually or as teams for one of 22 waterway locations, including Salado Creek at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, at All participants should register and should be at least 15 years old.

Most trash and debris seen in San Antonio’s waterways has traveled via wind and stormwater runoff to get there, sometimes from miles away. When stormwater flows on the surface instead of soaking into the ground, stormwater runoff goes into creeks and rivers, picking up trash and debris along the way.

Stormwater runoff transports trash from streets, including larger items, such as tires, furniture, or broken appliances left on the side of the road, as well as the chemicals on lawns and driveways, and waste from pets. Even soil and grass clippings can have an adverse effect on the aquatic life in waterways. 

This is how the majority of pollutants end up in our waterways, affecting plants, fish, animals and people.

While the Basura Bash is a one-day event, people can help to keep waterways clean every day by:

  • Putting trash/recyclables into their proper receptacles,
  • Securing trash or other items in truck beds,
  • Cleaning up chemicals spilled onto driveways,
  • Properly disposing of pet waste,
  • Taking larger bulk items or construction waste to the landfill or putting it out for waste disposal bulk pickup service, and
  • Reducing stormwater runoff by utilizing permeable surfaces and landscape elements that slow or collect rainwater in home landscaping.

During the last Basura Bash, more than 1,800 volunteers pitched in to clean 20 tributaries across San Antonio, collecting 34 tons of trash and recycling 1.5 tons of metal. Almost 300 of those volunteers, including the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Navy personnel, and numerous military and civilian families, came out to help clean up at Salado Creek Park on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

It is recommended that volunteers wear long pants, sturdy shoes or boots, and bring bug repellent. In light of the pandemic, it is also highly recommended that participants wear a mask whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.

Gloves, trash bags, and water for drinking will be provided for all volunteers. It is recommended that volunteers bring their own reusable water bottles in order to reduce the number of plastic water bottles thrown in the recycle bins. Hand sanitizer will also be available at the registration table and by the food and water tables.

Joint Base San Antonio’s participation in Basura Bash is coordinated by the 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron and is supported by MWR Outdoor Recreation staff members, the 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron’s Heavy Repair Shop, and many other individuals and teams representing units across JBSA.

At JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, volunteers should arrive by 8:30 a.m. to check-in, and to receive a safety briefing and instructions, at Salado Creek Park off of WW White Road. Installation access is required to access this location.

For more information or to register for the event, go to or call 210-671-0396. For more information on how to keep our storm drains clean for downstream, call 210-652-3314.