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Isla Vista, CA – Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) is partnering with Earthcomb,
an organization that focuses on litter removal around municipal water sources, drain grids, and
freeways. Earthcomb offers exclusive employment opportunities for people experiencing
homelessness and has helped 22 unsheltered individuals find housing.
Every year, Marborg collects around 1 million pounds of waste from Isla Vista during move-out.
One thing Marborg does not focus on is collecting litter that inevitably accumulates on and
around the gutters and streets of Isla Vista. This year, the IVCSD’s Isla Vista Beautiful program
is partnering with Earthcomb to tackle this issue and remove litter that accumulates during move-
out. From June 8th – July 8th, four Earthcomb employees will be working 40 hours per week to
address this issue in addition to 7 Isla Vista Beautiful staff members.
The District has implemented several new strategies this year to get unwanted items out of Isla
Vista prior to move out. The Isla Vista Beautiful team hosted two community-wide yard sales, an
opportunity to have unwanted items picked up from residents’ door steps, and several
educational campaigns on how preparation can significantly reduce the amount of waste in the
long run. An enormous job, requiring increased support, is addressing the litter that accumulates
during this time. While Marborg services trash bins and removes bulky unwanted items daily,
they are not able to focus on the mass amount of litter that naturally overflows into the streets.
Partnering with Earthcomb allows the District to focus on recycling perfectly usable items while
also mitigating the issue of litter as it occurs.
Earthcomb is the brainchild of Andrew Velikanje, who was formally unsheltered. After years of
homelessness, Andrew founded Earthcomb in 2021 from a tent on the beach. Since then,
970 Embarcadero del
Mar, Suite 101
Isla Vista, CA 93117
ISLA VISTA COMMUNITY SERVICES
Earthcomb has removed nearly 100 tons of litter within Santa Barbara County. Andrew has lived
happily indoors ever since. For more info visit www.earthcomb.org
Andrew Velikanje shared, “I am very excited to work with IVCSD. I can say with certainty that
they all share a passionate tenacity for improving the living conditions for residents of Isla Vista
and students of UCSB at large. Furthermore, I have complete confidence that this initiative will
be a screamin’ success! I have a deep passion for removing and preventing litter from finding the
ocean, and employing people experiencing homelessness to help me in the process.”
Jenna Norton, IVCSD’s Isla Vista Beautiful Program Manager shared, “I am grateful that our
team has crossed paths with Earthcomb. During the move out in Isla Vista, it is vital that we
increase our efforts to prevent litter from not only disrupting the lives of those who call Isla Vista
home but from entering our waterways as well. We must take time to appreciate and respect
those who remove waste from our communities. This is a job that not everyone is willing to take
on. I appreciate that Earthcomb is stepping up to help us during one of the most difficult times of
the year here in Isla Vista.”