Paradise Trashed, Where Is the Town?

Does no one care what the place looks like anymore?

   For visitors to East Hampton Town — and especially for the part-time residents who almost single-handedly keep the local economy afloat — the sight of overflowing garbage cans on public streets and beaches must be puzzling. How could a community with such wealth, one that supposedly prides itself on its aesthetic qualities, allow such unsightly heaps? How could the town’s work force and its elected officials look the other way? Is somebody on strike? Does no one care what the place looks like anymore?
    Durell Godfrey, a Star photographer, does, and she snapped a picture on Amagansett Main Street last Saturday afternoon of two trash receptacles overtopped with drink containers and food wrappers. The image brought to mind unpleasant scenes from other times: fully filled garbage cans at the ocean parking lot at Indian Wells Beach being emptied by gulls as rats scurried underneath, for example. Think too, if you have seen them, of the prodigious piles of rubbish left around the containers at the East Deck parking lot at Ditch Plain, another town property, waiting forlornly to be taken away.
    This is not a problem in East Hampton Village, whose crews make regular rounds and keep the streets, beaches, and parks spotless. See, East Hampton Town? It can be done.
    The problem in the town is twofold: Residents are not accustomed to taking their trash with them when leaving the beach or downtown areas and visitors should certainly not be expected to do so. Furthermore, the town apparently does not have adequate weekend sanitation and Parks Department staff to do the job. This is an ongoing situation, and it predates the current town board members’ tenure. However, the responsibility for doing something about it now belongs to them.


Why shouldn't visitors and residents be expected to take away their own trash? Nature photographers have a saying "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. The beach is part of the earth, our home if you will. If you don't pile garbage in the living room don't do it atthe beach. Until such time as the Town finances fully recover from the debacle of the recent past, we should all do our part in maintaining our home. In past years, when I was physically able, I walked almost evrfy evening at Maidstone Park and Gerard Drive to the end. I carried a plastic bag and picked up the trash I found along the way. Now I have to do it in my own yard to clean up the crap thrown from passing cars. Don't the (rarely enforced) littering laws apply to all our public spaces?
Once Upon A Time.... Locals used to take pride in the beauty and peaceful surroundings. A quaint little village that went to sleep at 7 pm.... We never minded sharing it with others- but RESPECT goes hand in hand... Maybe there are not enough local people who can afford to live there-? Maybe they had to move and find homes and jobs out of the area? After all is has become the paradise to those who can call it -"Their Playground". Seems I remember being told in a local supermarket-"WHY DON'T YOU LOCALS STAY HOME WHEN WE COME OUT ON WEEKENDS!!!" So the solution is -Make the visitors pick a number and that will be their weekend to "Clean the Trash"... Yes--- makes me mad I can't live in my own home town....Wonder what it will look like in 10 more years????
I'm with you on that one! I can't afford to live there and I'm a 13th generation bub! I also agree with Mrs. Wallace....take your trash with you when you leave and there won't be an issue.....expected or not....use your head! It's not rocket science! It will eventually be a town of the filty rich and the dirt middle class.