The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that hundreds of volunteers from across the Catskill and Hudson Valley collected an estimated 4,650 pounds of trash and recyclables during this year’s Reservoir Cleanup Day, making it the largest haul since DEP began the annual event five years ago. A total of 410 volunteers participated in this year’s cleanup. The effort to remove debris, litter and recyclables from the shorelines at nine reservoirs was led by school groups, environmental advocates, business leaders, local nonprofits and watershed citizens.

The Sept. 30 event comprised cleanup efforts at eight water supply reservoirs, including Ashokan, Cannonsville, Neversink and Pepacton reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains, and at East Branch, Kensico, Lake Gleneida, Muscoot and New Croton reservoirs in the Hudson Valley. In total, volunteers collected more than 346 bags of debris and recyclables. The haul weighed a total of more than 4,650 pounds. The results marked an increase from last year’s cleanup, at which 300 bags and 4,500 pounds of debris were collected. In many cases, debris collected at the sites had blown onto the reservoir property from nearby roadsides, had washed up along the shores from past storms, or was left behind at access areas used by the public for fishing and boating.

Debris collected during the cleanup included 4,702 glass, plastic or metal beverage containers, 1,554 food wrappers, 5,041 small pieces of foam, glass or plastic, 1,117 cigarette butts, 489 yards of fishing line, 872 grocery bags, 1,079 disposable cups and plates, 1,302 bottle caps, 977 take-out food containers, and 16 tires.

Reservoir Cleanup Day was among dozens of similar events happening across the state as part of the American Littoral Society’s annual New York State Beach Cleanup, which organizes volunteers to remove debris from beaches, lake shores and stream banks. Data from the reservoir cleanups was reported back to the American Littoral Society to generate a statewide tally that will soon be available. DEP is among the government agencies, businesses and foundations that sponsor the statewide effort. In 2016, the New York State Beach Cleanup included 5,025 volunteers across who removed 34,548 pounds of debris along 191 miles of shoreline.

 

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