By Steve Klamkin WPRO News
Years after the state stopped providing trash barrels at state parks and beaches in a cost-cutting move, trash removal service will be restored soon to Misquamicut State Beach in a joint effort with the state Department of Environmental Management and the Town of Westerly.
“We are bitter about litter,” joked Town Council President Ed Morrone at a Wednesday morning news conference at the beach, in which state and local officials outlined plans to provide trash and recycling receptacles at the exit to the state-run beach, where plastic trash bags are handed to motorists as they arrive with the urging to take out their trash.
“I do understand why someone doesn’t want to drive back to Hartford with a smelly diaper in their car in a plastic bag,” said Caswell Cooke, Executive Director of the Misquamicut Business Association.
“So, I really thought it was incumbent on the state to provide receptacles, because ‘carry-in, carry-out’ works in a state park, where you have a guy going in to hike with his family, but it doesn’t work at a state beach with 2700 cars every day,” Cooke said.
The town with provide trash removal service while the state will forego the tipping fee. No immediate date was set for the service to begin. There were no receptacles in place at the park exit as of Wednesday.
“We’re coming up with some new ideas to make sure that that at the end of every day, we don’t have a beach and a parking lot that’s littered with trash,” said DEM Director Janet Coit.
Cooke said that as a long-range solution, he would like to see the General Assembly augment the DEM budget to adequately cover the cost of trash removal.