Tag Archives: trash


You’ll never see this when you come to the beach after 8:00am because our awesome DPW beach crews and volunteer beach-picker-uppers do a tremendous job cleaning the beach each and very day.

Just saying, for some folks, after a day of fun and relaxation, they must be too worn out to pick up their belongings and garbage.

Update: DPW barrels at beach paths, construction by the Good Harbor Beach footbridge, and the creek is OPEN

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Gloucester Department of Public Works (DPW) is clearing out and revamping a little overgrown corner by the scenic footbridge. Pretty much everything that was there is returning: the bench, bike racks, sign, and 1 trash barrel. Weeds will be cleared out. The rotting sign is being replaced and relocated by the tree and perpendicular to the road so as to be readable and preserve view shed. DPW is installing a foot wash which has been a request for a number of years, a tiny water tap off the water main and regulated with a meter. The recent “paving was just an overlay to address a series of potholes.” They’re repairing some broken sidewalk panels, too.


DPW TRASH BARRELS AT BEACH PATHS are “pretty much a weekend thing only”



There will be pairs of barrels at the beach paths on Gloucester’s two biggest beaches– Good Harbor and Wingaersheek– on weekends as a trial experiment. The barrels will be emptied including a late evening sweep to ensure they’re not left overflowing through the night. It’s a combo option of  carry in / carry out with carry in / carry off, because the former works well for most people, not all.

What did DPW find this past weekend?

The barrels were full both days. It was less messy than some of the previous busy weekends. There was lots of dog waste.  By morning, they found that there was still trash left in the parking lot which means…

Some beach goers disregard all options: carry in /carry out policy, new blue plastic bags, new barrel pairs at the paths, even a dumpster they walked by behind the concession stand. Oh, and there’s the dog waste despite the No Dog May-October ordinance.

Of course, the litter is not just at beaches. Yes, it detracts from other priorities. DPW is finding trash pretty much everywhere people park (like the boat ramps.) Some people feel that it’s ok to leave behind bags of trash outside where they parked, or next to a full barrel. Gentle reminder from DPW: Pizza to go boxes atop the barrels can block bins that may hold more. Pizza boxes need to be compacted.

prior post Both/And : Carry In Carry Out and new trash barrels at Good Harbor Beach paths

GHB parking lot clean as a whistle after busy weekend


pedestrian bridge? clean as a whistle? not so much and yet so  –keeping it positive–the beach was jam packed yesterday!


other: Creek opened Monday (board of health, not DPW)

Water Gloucester beaches 

Water Rockport beaches

new testing methods on the horizon


GMG Reader Barbara Farrer shares an excellent trash idea and photo,

“My daughter and I went for a walk on the beach today and picked up handfuls of trash. This picture is from walking around 1/3 of the length of the beach and we couldn’t carry anymore garbage by that point. We noticed an abundance of plastic straw wrappers that we suspect came from the snack bar; perhaps the city should consider providing unwrapped straws to mitigate the problem, or stop giving straws (although that would be the tip of the iceberg). The real solution is a little effort and consideration by those who visit our beach, but a change to the snack bar’s straw policy may be a good start.”

Blech. Why?


One thing is for certain, when Stage Fort is trash heaped, DPW will pick it up…but why does it have to be like this? Trash operations and picking up litter are expensive. National and state parks worldwide are taking out the trash cans rather than trash by instituting various carry in/carry out policies. Cape Ann is about as National Park worthy as any designation out there. I like

Carry IN Carry HOME 

to extra underscore that the parking lot isn’t “out” enough. Marketing won’t help 100%. Despite anti-litter, Keep America Beautiful and green goals, we drop stuff. Especially if it’s convenient. The Law of Litter will prevail. If there are barrels we toss it in, then on, and too quickly around. Once any scrap meets ground, an overflowing heap isn’t far behind. It’s the psychology of litter: people are more likely to litter where there’s litter.

There are great DPW departments (like ours), policies in place in every community, and people who stop pollution (like Donna, Kim, Patty, Amy, and others here in Gloucester). I am amazed and grateful for just how cleaned up the beaches and parks are with every morning’s reset.

Gloucester offers options: DPW, barrels, carry in/carry out, volunteer clean ups and pooper scooper baggy dispensers. If it’s not enough, other options include allocating more funds to the DPW and police department via the municipal budget, entrance fees, and ‘take out/to go orders’ tax charge. Or us.

all photos: Stage Fort Park this morning (before DPW) photos by Pauline Bresnahan. thanks for sending to GMG, Pauline


They brought their own bags…


people start pollution people can stop it


why this?

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Gloucester will never be clear of litter unless we find a better way. From Janet Rice

Janet Rice writes-

As you are all probably aware, today was a very windy day in  Gloucester. That is not so unusual. Unfortunately what is also not so unusual is to see trash and recycling being blown all over our streets, into our yards, marshes, woods, and water. This morning, the litter was literally sailing across the streets as I drove to my East Gloucester jobs. I took a few photos to share of a recycling basket that was in the center of the road at the Rocky Neck entrance. Cars were flying by as I tried to pick it up, running over it, and making a bad situation worse.( Slow down guys!)

In my opinion, we will never have a clean City, no matter how much we pick up, if we do not come up with a different, more secure method of putting our trash and recycling out on the curb. Tiny, overstuffed recycling bins with no covers do not have a chance against the wind. Bare Barney Bags also have little chance against the array of wildlife that populate our City. Once torn open, they also bend to the will of the wind.

     The wind is stubborn and will not change it’s ways. Thus, it is up to us to figure a way out of this mess. Suggestions? Ideas?

     Until we come up with a better system, I plan to never put my trash/recycling out until the morning of pick up in order to minimize the wind/wildlife exposure. I will also make sure that my recycling is secure and that all my Barney Bags in a trash can with a lid. I will also continue to pick up litter as I walk. Join me!

I made a critical error yesterday.  I myself put out the trash in a can without a lid.  Total mental lapse on my part.  100% wrong.  The Barney bag should have been more secure.  I owe my awesome neighbor Marge a huge debt of gratitude for securing it for me.

Catch…What a Whale Shouldn’t Have to Eat

White Trash on White Snow

There’s a local blog (with universal appeal) you should check out. A Rockporter goes to the beach every day collecting trash and other detritus that washes up. She then organizes this trash – sometimes by color, sometimes by theme, sometimes by another method – and documents each find with a photo.

It’s a bit shocking (as well as visually fascinating) to see both the kinds of things that wash up and the volume of things that wash up. Of course we all know, theoretically anyway, that a bunch of trash litters the beach after every tide. But gone, more or less, are the days of poetic trash, like beach glass. In fact, finding beautiful beach glass juxtaposed against plastic bottle caps on the sand only heightens the awareness of how ugly and permanent our modern version of beach glass is in its plastic persistence. The irony of seeing water bottles littering the beach, when these bottles no doubt originated with health-conscious and hydration-minded people, would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

And if you’d rather not view the blog from an environmentalist’s perspective, you can enjoy the images for the sense of color and visual interest they retain. Just another example of the artistic wealth on Cape Ann, where residents are capable of creating beauty from piles of trash.

The blog: Catch…What a Whale Shouldn’t Have to Eat

Green Trash

Lighters on the Snow