Author Topic: Cleanup Day, 2013  (Read 1378 times)

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Cleanup Day, 2013
« on: May 05, 2013, 11:32:09 PM »
Sorry I missed this.  Thanks to everyone who participated.
Hackensack residents and groups take part in cleanup initiative
Friday, May 3, 2013
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK Approximately 100 individuals took part in Slam Dunk the Junk a cleanup and "green" initiative sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections Clean Communities Grant.

Local religious centers, scout troops, students, environmental clubs, advocacy groups and individuals of all ages took part in Slam Dunk the Junk a statewide green initiative aimed at cleaning up local communities. Volunteers cleaned up Borgs Woods, Staib and Johnson parks, among many city streets and locations, and planted flowers and greenery at Hackensack High School. CHRISTOPHER TRENTO/PHOTOS 

Religious centers, scout troops, students, environmental clubs, advocacy groups and many others took part in the event that marks a day when people within the community join in an effort of having a cleaner city by planting flowers and cleaning up streets, main throughways, parks and even Borgs Woods, according to Hackensack Administrative Analyst Charlotte Panney, who is also the coordinator for the statewide Slam Dunk the Junk initiative within the city.

"[Hackensacks] been holding urban cleanups since 1990," she said. "The idea keeps evolving. One year we did something with the Main Street Business District. Another year we held a Clean and Green Weekend where you could come and volunteer to cleanup either Saturday or Sunday. Now we have Slam Dunk the Junk."

According to the Clean Communities website, "Slam Dunk the Junk is a statewide public education campaign, sponsored by the New Jersey Clean Communities Council that is aimed at reminding all New Jerseyans to put trash in trash can and recyclables in recycling bins."

The local groups, including scout troops, that took part in the event allowed for a wide range of volunteers spanning from young children to adults to participate in the initiative.

"The troops are here as part of their Leave No Trace awards," Boy Scout Troop No. 5 Master Jean-Pierre Mascetti said. "The troops are taught to participate and clean after themselves, even when we go camping."

According to Mascetti, even though his troops were participating in hopes of receiving their badges, one of the underlining scout themes is to take care of the environment.

Mascettis troops tackled the garbage cleanup of Staib Park and Coles Brook.

Eric Martindale, a member of the group "Friends of Borgs Woods," also took part in the event his 10th year. The group set forth to cleanup sections of Borgs Woods.

"Its important to maintain our community by being involved in [events] like this," he said.

Religious groups, such as St. Anthony of Padua Chruch, were also on board in the cleanup initiative aiming to clean the Hudson Street neighborhood.

"I wanted to help the community," Luz Gonzalez, from St. Anthonys, said. "There are about 10 of us who are volunteering."

Hackensack High School students who form part of the group Steering Out Alcohol Responsibly (S.O.A.R.) were also present.

"It makes us feel good to be making a difference," said Hackensack High School senior and S.O.A.R. member Natasha Pineiros. "It feels great to be part of something. It really is rewarding."

Not only was S.O.A.R.s goal to collect garbage littered throughout Main Street, but they were also, specifically, on the lookout for "alcohol-related trash" with the purpose of tracking the drinking habits of Hackensack.

"Everything the kids will be picking up is alcohol related," said S.O.A.R. Advisor Jamie England. "Obviously, if we see other trash we will pick it up, but our main goal is trying to make a difference [in preventing alcohol use by teenagers] so we are keeping track of all the liquor-bottles, beer cans, and alcohol-related things we find and reporting it back to the city."

The days event started off with a "Grab and Go" breakfast where all participants had the chance to meet and pick-up their supplies, gloves, and trash bags before dispersing to their assigned locations within the city to start the cleanup effort.

After the two-hour cleanup, volunteers were invited to have lunch at the Hackensack Elks Lodge #658.

According to Panney, volunteers were instructed to place recyclables in a clear trash bag, all other garbage and debris went in another. This was to make the disposal of the trash easier and more organized. A few sanitation department workers were also on hand that day to assist with the collection of garbage and recyclables, Panney said.

There were definite plans for all items collected, according to Panney. Debris, including plastic, that was deemed recyclable went towards this "green" effort; if any wood was collected, it would be chipped; and garbage was taken to the dump as the city paid dump fees to make this possible.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 11:34:59 PM by Editor »