A pilot program exhorting East Hamptoners and visitors to carry in and then carry out items they take to public lands such as nature preserves and beaches at road ends will get under way at 28 sites this summer. The program will allow the elimination of trash cans at those spots and, it is hoped, lighten the load for the Town Parks Department, which empties those bins.
Councilman Pete Hammerle modeled the Carry In, Carry Out program after a similar one he saw implemented in Vermont. Such programs, he said in introducing the idea at a town board work session on Tuesday, have been a “proven success in many areas of the country.”
With members of the Parks and Land Acquisition and Management Departments, Mr. Hammerle developed a list of locations that are not heavily used, or where no trash cans have been installed.
Signs will be posted there announcing the Carry In, Carry Out program and asking that visitors make sure to cart their trash away with them when they go.
The test sites will include Sammy’s Beach, the Grace Estate, and Camp Norweska in Northwest, Culloden in Montauk, harborfront sites along Gerard Drive, and Jacob’s Farm, the Dodge property, and Pussy’s Pond in Springs, where schoolchildren from the nearby Springs School will be asked to become part of the program.
“I’d like to see the community embrace it, and maybe we can expand it,” Mr. Hammerle said Tuesday.
Compliance at the initial sites will be monitored by the Parks Department, and adjustments will be made if needed.
The Parks Department currently places — and regularly empties — 301 garbage cans at 80 locations throughout the town, Mr. Hammerle said.
Eventually, he hopes, by changing public attitudes and behavior, the town will see real savings in the department’s costs through the elimination of some of those waste cans. In addition, he said, lightening the workload would enable parks workers to better monitor and address overflowing trash containers in spots such as the heavily used ocean beaches in summer.
The 43 Carry In, Carry Out signs needed to get the program started will cost $30 each, Mr. Hammerle said.
The town board is expected to approve the program formally tonight through a board resolution. While it may not be possible to mark all of the pilot spots by Memorial Day, Mr. Hammerle said the goal is to have them all designated by the July Fourth weekend.