For the past three weeks, The Record has published photos sent in by readers of trash or garbage left strewn throughout the city.

Our purpose is not simply to paint the city as a trash heap. That's far from the case.

We're trying to help bring awareness to the problem of illegal dumping, rampant littering and other senseless acts that are doing so much to damage the reputation of our beautiful city.

We've also noticed some very promising things:

• Last Sunday morning, a man was working to fill two huge trash bags with debris he was collecting on the Interstate 5 southbound offramp for March Lane. Note: Caltrans does ask that you contact the agency before doing such work;

• Twice in the past two weeks garbage has been removed from the I-5 northbound offramp for Benjamin Holt Drive;

• Trash pickup in downtown Stockton has intensified, and we've noticed more people picking up things wantonly left behind by others;

• The Coastal Cleanup Day efforts in Stockton last Saturday were outstanding in removing trash from our community;

• Dedicated individuals who help feed the pets of the homeless each week also continue to help pick up trash from the encampments.

We praise the many people working to make our city cleaner.

Send information and photos of trash "hot spots" that need to be cleaned up to