A wig, concrete, a burned shoe, Christmas lights, glowsticks. And a rat.

That’s just a sample of the nearly 7,400 pounds of trash (and animal carcasses) that beach cleanup volunteers kept out of the ocean in 2009.

San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation’s local chapter tallied the stats from the 20 cleanups they organized from Oceanside to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Some other interesting facts from the environmental groups:

• 80 percent of the garbage was plastic.

• 48,007 cigarette butts were picked up — about 8,000 more than average. (The events also had more volunteers, which could account for the increase.)

• Biggest haul: 800 pounds of litter from the Fiesta Island cleanup.

• 600 tires were yanked from the Tijuana River Valley.


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