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NEWS | Feb. 24, 2022

Basura Bash returns to clean up San Antonio, JBSA waterways

By Lori A. Bultman 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

After a year off due to COVID-19, the largest, single-day watershed litter pickup in Texas returned on Feb. 19, and Joint Base San Antonio members came out in full force to participate.  

Since 1995, the citizens of San Antonio have helped clean area waterways, and this, the 27th Basura Bash, was no exception.  

More than 240 volunteers came out to collect trash and debris along Salado Creek at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston during this year’s clean-up, according to Sarah Otto, an 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron environmental management specialist and tributary leader for the location.  

“I love this event. I look forward to it every year,” she said. “It definitely makes an impact. The trash that falls out of your truck, or any debris that blows out of your yard, it eventually will end up in the creeks through wind or rain events.” 

The event kicked off with a welcome by 802nd CES director, Joe Hockaday, who emphasized the importance of environmental stewardship, and a safety briefing by Steve San Miguel, 802nd CES safety officer.  

Ed Roberson, chief of Environmental Management at 802nd CES, said the event really does make a difference.  

“On the last cleanup we did, two years ago, the overall Basura Bash effort collected nearly 35 tons of trash out of waterways,” he said, noting that nearly 2,000 people registered for this year’s Basura Bash.  

Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Brasel, from the Medical Education and Training Center Radiology Program, and his son, Austin, were among the volunteers on JBSA.  

“I enjoy participating in these events, and I really am glad to see how many people turned out to clean up this park,” he said. 

Brasel was also happy to spend the time with his son.  

“It is a good opportunity to get him out here and participate, and learn about cleaning up the environment,” he said. “He even mentioned how important it was to keep our yard at home clean so things don’t get washed out and into these creeks.” 

Approximately 40 cubic yards of waste was collected from the portion of Salado Creek on JBSA during this year’s effort.