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Jul 15, 2014 5:30 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Litter On Montauk Beaches Frustrates East Hampton Town

Jul 15, 2014 5:30 PM

East Hampton Town seems to be struggling with a litter problem, especially in the summer - in certain parts of town.

Last week, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell mentioned that litter is being left all over local beaches, in particular at the road ends at downtown Montauk beaches near the Sloppy Tuna restaurant.

He said he considers the litter a travesty, especially after a community-wide effort in the winter to clean the entire stretch of East Hampton beach with a shoreline sweep event organized by East Hampton resident, nature photographer and filmmaker Dell Cullum.

“You would think people would have enough respect to not leave litter or throw their litter on the beach to start with,” Mr. Cantwell said on Monday. “It’s insulting to all of us who live here when we go downtown to the beach at six or seven in the morning and find a mess left behind people on the beach overnight.”

According to Town Harbormaster Tim Treadwell, downtown Montauk is densely populated in the summer compared to other areas around town, therefore Montauk beaches seem to used more often. He said a lot of people who stay in hotels and motels on the beach have a tendency to leave beach furniture, garbage and remnants of fires on the beach.

There is often an overflow of garbage at the town’s garbage cans, despite the parks department’s efforts to pick it up twice a day on the weekends. Sometimes seasonal residents use the town’s receptacles to dump household trash.

Mr. Cullum, who has been tracking trash across East Hampton, said it is up to people to change the litter problem. He hopes his film about the Shoreline Sweep educates the public about littering and encourages people to do something about it.

Mr. Cantwell said putting a police officer on foot patrol on the beaches to give out littering tickets would be beyond the Town’s means at this time, but he hopes to have a conversation in the future with the Montauk Chamber of Commerce to have hotel and motel staff encourage visitors to pick up after themselves.

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It's an ill bird which fouls it's own nest.

A sick puppy fouls someone else's.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 16, 14 8:10 AM
One of the many reasons I hang out at Gin Beach in the summertime!
By MTKGRL (15), Floral Park on Jul 16, 14 8:50 AM
Why doesn't the town hire part time code enforcement officers who will blend in with the crowd and issue littering tickets at $250 a piece to send the filthy pigs who come and ruin our town a clear message. It will stop the litter and put money in the town budget.
By mtkfish (59), montauk on Jul 16, 14 9:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well, based on the two pictures it doesn't look like people are littering. It looks like the Town isn't providing adequate garbage containers (as they are overflowing). People seem to be making an effort to put the garbage in/next to the can but the cans are full.

Granted, there are people who take advantage and dump household garbage, but I would bet that if the Town put 5 garbage cans where they have 1 now, there would be a lot less "littering"
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 16, 14 9:21 AM
3 members liked this comment
How about it you brought it to the beach, so just like camping and hiking, don't leave it behind. Don't be lazy, and take your crap with you.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 16, 14 9:38 AM
That would be advisable, but if there's a garbage can there people will be of the assumption that if they leave their garbage it will be picked up. Strange concept right??
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 16, 14 9:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
and...the cans need to be in secure enclosures so they don't get tipped or blown over.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Jul 16, 14 1:13 PM
It's YOUR crap.

Be responsible for it. Don't levy it on the taxpayers, or your fellow taxpayers, be you one or not.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 16, 14 3:21 PM
Then they should remove the garbage cans. Seems to me like they are making a landfill out of a molehill.

You have 3 options.
Add more garbage cans
Remove all garbage cans
Increase enforcement

There. done. No need for an article and bloviating on how you will EVER overcome a problem of this magnitude.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 16, 14 3:26 PM
How about people use common sense and say "gee, this looks like it's meant for the occasional coffee cup, or some dog waste. Maybe I shouldn't leave my trash or all the crap from my beach picnic here for the animals to tear it to shreds."

Oh, crap. I forgot. Decency, respect, common sense, and forward thinking are too much to ask of people. MEH.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 16, 14 11:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
They're too bombed to realize. It aint called the Sloppy Tuna for no reason!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 17, 14 10:29 AM
How about post informational signage at the beaches that would show the ill effect of trash on wildlife? A few pictures of dead sea birds with indigestible garbage in their intestines might get the point across.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Jul 16, 14 1:08 PM
I love it! how about a huge sign showing a cop with a radar gun hunting for speeders!
here is my solution:
build condos everywhere and raise taxes.
By david h (405), southampton on Jul 17, 14 8:18 AM
the town NEEDS to add more trash cans the Sloppy Tuna beach entrance and the next beach entrance to the east. There are only like 3-4 trash bins at each spot.
Sep 7, 16 10:09 AM appended by smellypants8
n/a
By smellypants8 (2), Bridgehampton on Jul 17, 14 10:09 AM
The article indicates that the dumping is occurring overnight, suggesting that people are dumping their household trash at the beach trash containers rather than pay to do so at the transfer station. The most effective solution would be to provide more trash cans so that the garbage doesn't spill out over the beach. "Educational campaigns" aren't going to work on people who are knowingly dumping household trash and the town can't afford police enforcement, so why not just buy more trash cans? ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jul 17, 14 10:42 AM
2 members liked this comment
The problem is people put household garbage in the containers. It seems like adding more cans would solve the problem but it only adds to it. One solution is bring it in, bring it out policy. Another is making it less expensive for people to dump their trash at town transfer stations.
By prometheus (13), HB on Jul 17, 14 8:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
SO put more garbage cans at the beach. Every weekend you walk by them they're filled and spilling out. People on the beach actually do a pretty good job of cleaning up but the town is at fault for not putting more garbage cans there or not doing a midday pickup.

Everyone loves the money that comes with all the summer renters but loves to complain even more. Either A. Don't allow share houses and you won't have any problems. or B. Take their money and problems for local business, jobs and ...more
By justind (1), Montauk on Jul 18, 14 10:56 AM
put a transfer station at the beach(es)
By david h (405), southampton on Jul 21, 14 7:51 AM