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05/19/17 03:42 PM
05/19/17 04:24 PM
05/19/17 10:47 PM
05/19/17 10:55 PM
05/20/17 01:22 AM
After just a few hot summer days snuck into spring, beachgoers have littered Good Harbor Beach with garbage.
“It’s frustrating to wake up to those pictures,” said Aisley Smith , commissioner of Gloucester Clean City. “We think people should be responsible for their own trash.”
So does the city.
Gloucester has a “carry in, carry out” policy for its beaches, adopted in 2002. The program began as an extreme experiment in compelling personal responsibility by removing all receptacles for trash, even from the parking lots. It has since been amended, and trash bins are located off the beaches and in the parking lots. But the beaches do not officially open until next Saturday for the Memorial Day weekend, and are not now staffed.
Locals and tourists alike seem have taken advantage of the lack of city personnel — lifeguards and parking attendants — by throwing away garbage that doesn’t belong there, most recently including broken beach chairs, a broken boogie board and endless cases, cans and bottles that once held beer. Much of the trash found Friday at Good Harbor was stacked around a barrel next to a sign explaining the “carry in, carry out” rule.
“This is our beach. People say its only out-of-towners, not residents. I think it’s a mix of both, I really do,” Public Works Director Michael Hale said.
According Hale, this sort of incident happens a few times every summer. Trash was also found at Wingaersheek Beach and Plum Cove, though not nearly as much.
Hale shared Smith’s frustration with the situation. “I hate to say I’m surprised by anything, but I was surprised to see how much was left there yesterday. I really was,” he said.
Ultimately, it was Public Works crews who had to clean up the mess.
Volunteer cleanup Sunday
Town employees are still ramping up to get the beaches prepared for summer.
“We can’t count on 80-degree, 90-degree weather in May, so it’s a complicated dance we do,” Hale said.
In Hale’s mind, many people overlook how much effort the city puts in to preparing the beaches for the summer, building boardwalks and building lifeguard chairs, hiring lifeguards, and cleaning.
During the daily cleanings, he often finds spots on the beach where young adults were sitting the day before with a 30-pack of beer, leaving the empties buried in the sand.
“No amount of barrels solves that because they had no intention of ever putting it in a barrel in the first place,” Hale said. He has also found dirty baby diapers buried in the sand.
Ironically, the Clean City Commission will host a cleanup at Good Harbor this Sunday from 8 to 10 a.m.
“The Gloucester Clean City Commission had been planning that before we knew what this week would hold, so it ended up being good timing,” Smith said. The commission will provide bags but requests volunteers bring work gloves if they have them.
The Department of Public Works posted pictures of Friday morning’s overflowing trash on the sand of Good Harbor on Facebook.
“It got a lot of attention, so I think people will be more apt to come out now that they’ve seen what happened, and hopefully channel feelings towards doing good this weekend instead of ranting,” Smith said. “We want people to be responsive in an active manner and this would be a good way to work on that.”
Despite the overflow of trash, Hale believes in the carry-in, carry-out system.
“If we throw in an extra Dumpster, it will be filled with house trash after hours. That’s the nature of what happens when you have public Dumpsters,” he said. “I disagree with those who suggest more barrels is the answer.”
In his experience in the Public Works Department, people have never called in to report litter bugs and he has never heard of anyone speaking out against it. “People need to speak up. We need better behavior and maybe even enforcement of littering,” Hale said.
He noted that there are some conscientious residents who carry out everything they bring in with them, but there are some that don’t.
“There’s no excuse for people leaving trash at edge of boardwalk or next to the fence. There’s no logical explanation to it. It is not someone else’s responsibility to carry your pizza box,” Hale said. “All the trash barrels in the world won’t make a difference. It’s a behavior that’s hard to break.”
Hale thinks it is unfair to good beach-goers who care about the environment. “They will be frustrated by this and they’re looking to the city for answers,” he said, though a clear solution to this issue is yet to be seen.
The beaches will open next week, and Hale predicts this will happen again.
“What you’re seeing now is evidence of people who don’t care what they do with their trash. It’s a shame, it really is a shame to look at that,” he said. “Maybe if people get fined for littering, maybe that will speak to them.”
Mary Markos may be contacted at 978-675-2708 or [email protected]
What: Clean City Commission hosts a cleanup at Good Harbor Beach, off Thatcher Road.
When: Sunday, May 21, 8 to 10 a.m.
Details: Trash bags provided; volunteers should bring work gloves if they have them.
05/20/17 02:32 AM
05/20/17 08:23 AM
05/20/17 11:57 AM
05/20/17 12:26 PM
05/20/17 03:44 PM
05/20/17 04:00 PM
Karly wrote:I wave to the little cameras when I see them...and say a few things in support of my candidate.)
05/20/17 04:03 PM
05/20/17 04:05 PM
Karly wrote:Right....cloud camera systems are like a hundred bucks and if anyone messes with them they are already caught. Put out the barrels with a warning to wave. (When I canvass homes for political purposes I wave to the little cameras when I see them...and say a few things in support of my candidate.)
05/20/17 04:09 PM
moro wrote:Hey William! Mrs. Pissels went potty in your tulips!
05/20/17 09:31 PM
05/21/17 01:35 AM
05/21/17 10:03 AM
Leland33 wrote:Security cameras have pros and cons. The biggest thing against them is they have an internal chip that not just sends audio and video to your own cloud account BUT to the IP of a bad guy.
Here's what seems to be good security systems.http://www.techhive.com/article/2998898/security-cameras/best-home-security-camera-we-test-10-new-models-to-find-out.html
The $99 system that was installed for my Mom caught the mailbox check their but failed to see her when she fell outside - minutes later a gentleman came to her aid.
If you decided to record audio that means conversations will be recorded.
But to catch the trash people camera's are okay.
I was totally against carry in/out and mentioned this to Mayor Bell. The compromise of allowing people to get rid of their beach trash on the way out made it easier to agree with.
I REALLY DO NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF TURNING PEOPLE OFF WHO ARE PAID CUSTOMERS. those are the people you might as well shred future money from.
I ALSO, like many, HAVE PRIDE ABOUT THE CITY and its not good when something that only cost relatively little ($20K per year (my estimate^^^) is worth probably 100's of families that visit can't believe carry in/out is allowed and endorsed by city officials (SRT?). Shred more money.================
On the bright side. Wow are the tulips doing well - what are you feeding the WT, et.al... My estimate again - once the public sees the new beds as they come in
New people that come just to see the flower beds AND spend $40pp:
700 people/wk x $30/pp x 15 weeks season = $315,000 local revenues per year!
05/21/17 10:38 AM
05/21/17 11:14 AM
05/22/17 09:37 AM
Leland33 wrote:Dollar Tree at Gloucester Crossing has decent work gloves 2 pair for a dollar.
They are not real heavy duty but I think good enough.
WT - I have seen Sue Kelley on the blvd. - and unknown folks on traffic islands. All is so beautifully landscaped and many really know what they are doing. Their work is attracting many many eyes of appreciation. It looks like YOU contributed a zillion dollars WT - based on the tulips alone - and the MORE than generous gardeners.
I see Sue talking to people all the time as the pass by the tulips.
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