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Apr 8, 2019 12:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Rotary Offers Solution To Keep Beaches Clean

Tim Corwin and members of the Southampton Rotary Club placed baskets at Little Plains Beach in Southampton Village, for people to carry and put garbage in when they walk on the beach. GREG WEHNER
Apr 9, 2019 3:20 PM

Whether it’s mylar balloons, single-use plastic bags and straws, aluminum cans, plastic bottles or yards of old monofilament fishing line, litter is everywhere—including on the beaches.

Tim Corwin, a past president and current member of the Southampton Rotary Club, encounters litter on the beach frequently, and does his part to pick it up and carry it off the beach.

“Every time I go for a walk on the beach, I carry a bag with me,” he said. “I usually come back with it at least half full and sometimes overflowing.

“As you know, there’s been a lot of garbage, especially a lot of plastics, on our beaches,” he added.

In an effort to address the issue, Mr. Corwin and other Rotarians have placed plastic baskets at the entrance of Little Plains Beach to encourage people to pick up garbage as they walk along the shoreline.

The baskets are similar to the handheld baskets shoppers use at supermarkets, and are stacked behind a bench, where people can see them as they walk onto the beach.

The club originally wanted to place a biodegradable plastic bag dispensary at the beach for people to walk up to and take a bag from, just as with dog waste bags, but after looking into it more, they decided to come up with another solution.

“Southampton Village has told me with their doggie poop bags, that they actually go through $10,000 worth of bags a year—so we didn’t want to get into that type of thing,” Mr. Corwin said, while noting that there is no such thing as a biodegradable bag unless the bag is given the right conditions to decompose. “That wasn’t going to work, because what happens is, they fill up the landfill. You’re actually creating more garbage.”

The Rotary Club was given permission from the village to place the plastic baskets at Little Plains. The total cost of the project was $150, which includes the 12 baskets, signs, and a stand or station for the baskets to be returned to.

Before the baskets are returned, people are encouraged to empty them in any of the village garbage cans, also located at the beach entrance. The garbage cans are notorious for overflowing during the summer, and if that is the case, Mr. Corwin said the baskets can be placed near the village garbage cans. He said the maintenance people can empty them and put them back on the stand.

Rotarians are monitoring the baskets currently, and an email is included on a sign where the baskets are located for people to offer suggestions on ways to better the program.

“If it works really well, which we’re hoping it does, then we’ll expand to additional beaches and to other Rotary clubs,” Mr. Corwin said. “I could see this thing maybe being at a lot of beaches around the island.”

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That seems like a good idea.
By dfree (749), hampton bays on Apr 8, 19 6:04 PM
A laudable goal, but chances are good those baskets will disappear fairly quickly IMO, sorry to say.
By PBR (4930), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 6:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not to worry. I heard they have embedded them with tracker chips so that the SHVP can track down any baskets that go missing and fine the perpetrators. :)
By V.Tomanoku (758), southampton on Apr 9, 19 8:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Early this morning there were only 11 baskets there, although it is possible that someone had taken one for a walk to pick up debris.

Please post if you see 12 there again.
By PBR (4930), Southampton on Apr 17, 19 9:35 PM
Great idea and much needed !
By jameshoge (6), Southampton on Apr 9, 19 1:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
When you consider the amount of money collected in taxes and parking sticker revenue, you would think they could keep the beaches clean.
By even flow (858), East Hampton on Apr 9, 19 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
if only we could encourage people to clean up after their dogs as well - so gross, year round
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (697), southampton on Apr 9, 19 8:52 AM
3 members liked this comment
More signs to keep our beaches clean. Some people are just Trashy...
By knitter (1759), Southampton on Apr 9, 19 10:23 AM
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