Thriving Earth Exchange

The 2020-2022 Thriving Earth Exchange program is a community science trash-assessment project that engages the community via multiple partnerships leading to policy and action to reduce trash in in Pinole Creek.

The program paired a Community Science Fellow with community groups in Pinole in a collaboration between the City of Pinole, Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed, Earth Team and Oregon State University.

About Thriving Earth Exchange

Thriving Earth Exchange strengthens and enhances collaboration among communities, scientists, and partner organizations so that all communities can build healthy, resilient, thriving, just, and ecologically responsible futures.

The project sought to answer the following questions:

  • How much trash is in the creek?
  • What types of trash are most common?
  • Where is the trash coming from?
Randomized site choice along main stem of creek


The team utilized standardized and comparable methodology and developed a trash assessment document and protocol based on the California Trash Monitoring Methods and Assessments Playbook.

What policies and action does the community recommend?

  • Develop and/or update city ordinances on food ware and cigarets.
  • Identify high trash areas of concern and address problem.
  • Create a city-owned trash bin inventory. Use our data to inform new trash bin locations in areas of concern.
  • Initiate monthly trash cleanups harnessing the power of community groups.
  • Institute an “Adopt-a-Street” or “Adopt-a-Spot” Program.
  • Initiate litter-awareness outreach & educational programs in schools and community.
  • Fund a follow-up trash assessment in 5 years (2026).

This is a long-term community & science collaboration. We commit to following up with the Community, Council and Staff to protect the Pinole Creek Watershed.