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102518 Lompoc homeless cleanup 03.jpg (copy)

In this Oct. 25, 2018, file photo, work crews remove debris from homeless camps in the Santa Ynez Riverbed, near East North Avenue and Riverside Drive in Lompoc. 

A week after Lompoc officials gave a public update on the status of the recent cleanup of the Santa Ynez Riverbed, the city released more detailed information Tuesday about the levels of waste and debris that were removed from the waterway.

The cleanup, which began in October, involved the removal of more than 462 tons — or 924,620 pounds — of trash from the riverbed, which had been become a campsite for many of the Lompoc Valley’s homeless residents over the past several years.

According to the updated statistics provided this week by the city, the cleanup involved:

  • The sanitation and disposal of 499 pounds of human waste;
  • The removal of 54 quarts of collected sharps waste in containers;
  • The removal of five truckloads of tarps; and
  • The destruction of seven structures.

In total, the City Council approved about $556,000 for the project, including a $400,000 contract with Qwik Response, a Southern California-based company that handles hazardous materials removal and whose workers did much of the heavy lifting.

The total cost to the city for the cleanup and management, as of Tuesday, is estimated at $422,787, according to the city.

City Manager Jim Throop has said he intends to seek funding assistance from Santa Barbara County, as well as from the state and federal governments.

The Santa Ynez River is the city’s primary drinking water recharge area.

“In addition (to the cleanup), the city completed construction of a multiyear riverbank stabilization project along Riverside Drive to shift river flows away from the western bank of the river and back into the central channel, reducing undercutting and erosion of the riverbank along the roadway,” read a statement from Lompoc spokeswoman Samantha Scroggin.

“These projects, completed during the summer and fall of 2018 ahead of the recent rains, have clear benefits to the city of Lompoc and the community,” she added.

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This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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