More trash along Atlantic City's boardwalk may be from increase in takeout

Katie Katro Image
Friday, July 31, 2020
More trash along Atlantic City's boardwalk may be from increase in takeout
An increase in trash along Atlantic City's boardwalk may be from an increase in takeout, according to the mayor.

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Mayor Marty Small said there has been an increase in trash left on the streets and boardwalk of Atlantic City.

Since there is no indoor dining allowed in New Jersey, Small said the increase in trash seems to be coming from the high volume of people ordering takeout and eating it outside.

Small said he's not ignoring the problem, as the city has added 30 new seasonal hires, as well as back filled seven positions.

"I mean it's bad at times when the public works department, you know, can't get there or the special improvement district, it looks like the boardwalk isn't clean," said Small, "But like I said we're adjusting to these trying times."

To help a local group of teens has been picking up garbage, filing around 60 bags a day.

"A lot of takeout containers," said Shermaine Gunther-Gary, the director of Leaders in Training, a group for teenagers to help clean up the city.

The group's director said the teens have helped bring awareness to the neighborhood about the importance of picking up after oneself, which the mayor is trying to stress.

"Be a responsible adult," said Small, "You wouldn't want trash thrown in your home or in your city."

Many locals on the boardwalk said they have seen an increase in litter.

"Compared to since they've closed and reopened the restaurants, absolutely I see more trash," said Alicia Washington from Atlantic City.

People who come down regularly said they've also noticed more trash.

"I really love the Jersey Shore, and I love the boardwalk, but it really takes away when everywhere you look you're seeing litter," said Roi Greene, from North Philadelphia.

Visitors said they can't help but notice, as well.

"You can tell they're cleaning up, but not at it's best, especially for a first time tourist," said Nelta White, visiting from Las Vegas.

Public Works has been back full time for about a month since the pandemic started, and the workers have a lot of other responsibilities besides picking up trash, which is why the city is urging people to clean up after themselves.