An effort to encourage sun-worshipers at some town-owned beaches to carry their trash away with them when they leave is under way. For some time now there has been general consensus that more has to be done about the prodigious piles of waste that accumulate at the busier beaches, even on the weekdays. Sea gulls tear through mounting piles, scattering paper and plastic. Rats can be seen from time to time darting among the cans, even in daylight.
Pressed for cash, in a trial run, the town has removed some garbage cans from the less crowded beach parking lots in the hope that people will learn to be responsible for hauling home what they take there with them. Pack it in, pack it out. The idea is that by reducing the number of far-flung daily stops that trash collectors must make, more frequent pickups can be made at the busiest beaches.
Whether enough beachgoers will pitch in remains to be seen. Some folks, mostly seasonal renters who don’t want to pay for garbage hauling, use the beach cans as their sole means of household rubbish disposal. (That is illegal, of course.) Many others think nothing of leaving not just their lunch leftovers, but their broken chairs and blown-out umbrellas alongside already overflowing cans. We hope that these folks, when confronted with an absence of cans, don’t just dump their discards in the parking lot.
Star readers can lead the way by putting into practice the philosophy of leaving no trace behind on public lands. Those of us who are fortunate enough to live here, and to know what’s going on, can make it cool to keep it clean.