Getting Trashed - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1779712

Getting Trashed

Once again, another spring season is upon us. And with a new season comes new opportunities to address the many issues that seem to plague East Hampton residents each year.

One issue that needs to be proactively addressed is the onslaught of inconsiderate visitors who feel our town is a dumping ground for their personal trash — wrappers, cans, bottles and, a new addition, face masks.

Maybe the town can provide an account of fines collected in the littering category? Apparently, the current process is not working, for the many trash cans in various locations are still expected be overflowing. Are more cans the answer? Or maybe additional pick-ups. I would like to hear the town’s action plan prior to Memorial Day weekend.

At what point is it considered littering when overflowing trash cans are still being topped off with additional trash or dropped outside the cans? Maybe traffic control officers can be trained and instructed on how to politely ask visitors to retain their disposables for another time or location, or just take it home. If trash is dropped anyway, then a fine should be warranted.

Plastics have been a major concern for the past several years and will be in the future. Another proactive step is banning all plastics — not just straws, but all. Most restaurants and lodging facilities have already adapted the use of biodegradable products. There are also many other healthy environment choices available: Get back to paper, cardboard, wood (bamboo), etc. But we need to eliminate all plastics.

The beach: Litter patrols on the beach would be most effective from 2 p.m. on, since the departure of beachgoers usually result in trash left behind.

Along with the rules and regulations regarding beach fires with the new metal containment bins, marine patrol should stop by and identify the “users” and record the ownership and location of such setups. Should it be found that the fires have not been extinguished properly or bins not removed by the next morning, a summons and fine should follow.

And, lastly, I was not a supporter of the “Adopt a Highway” program, for, in addition to the existing rusted old signage, what are statistics on revenues collected and how the money was spent? This program gives the appearance of a cheap billboard and marketing ploy. Did we need to add to the multitude of signs already displayed on our roadways?

Everyone needs to play a role in an effort to improve and preserve the quality of life we all wish to enjoy and appreciate. No reason any of us need to have our day ruined due to someone else’s ignorance or disregard of others. We’re all in this world together.

Ken Walles

East Hampton

Mr. Walles is a candidate for East Hampton Town supervisor — Ed.