A day at the beach just became an opportunity to leave it a little cleaner than you found it. Scarborough Community Services recently launched “Pitch In Pails,” an exciting new effort for our community to get involved in helping keep our beaches clean. Debuting at Hurd Park, Pitch In Pails encourages beachgoers to participate in their own mini beach clean-up and stop the trash from spreading.

The new Pitch In Pail station is located at the beach entrance. Visitors can grab a pail to bring with them, collect litter on the beach, and empty it into the trash bin that is built into the station. The pail is then to be returned for others to use. Pitch In Pails allow anyone to “pitch in” to help keep the beach clean.

The interest in this concept is already high among community members — Community Services regularly receives calls asking about beach clean-ups and coordinates three to four volunteer days each year with businesses in town. Resident beach walkers often share their efforts to keep beaches clean by bringing their own bags to pick up litter. Town Council Chair Paul Johnson, encouraged the Town to explore beach clean-up stations after a resident saw the success of a similar program in Florida and reached out with the idea. “I’m excited about this new opportunity to promote volunteerism and sustainability,” Johnson said. “Whether you are a resident or visiting for the summer, please consider enjoying our beaches and taking care of them at the same time!”

The Town of Scarborough strives to enhance ecological integrity, livability, economic vitality, and resilience to ensure a high quality of life for all. The Town is committed to working with residents and businesses, as well as local and regional partners, as a leader in sustainability. The Town intends to be a recognized model for sustainable practices in municipal operations, to lead our community by example, and promote sustainable policies, regulations, and practices where feasible. The Pitch in Pails program is one way Scarborough is committing to its sustainability efforts.

Bringing Pitch In Pails to Scarborough was a collaborative effort between Scarborough Community Services, Public Works, and Sustainability. “For us, a clean beach represents us. It brings people back. It helps the economy, it helps the businesses in the neighborhood,” Scarborough Community Services Director Todd Souza said. “When all those things come together, our community thrives.” If the Pine Point station is a success, Community Services will expand the concept to other beaches and parks in Scarborough under the campaign “Pitch In Scarborough” to encourage community involvement and volunteerism.

With summer in full swing, Community Services is seeing a significant uptick in trash at Town-operated beaches and parks. Trash barrels are available in entryways for park goers, but they’re seeing increased pressure from homeowner trash and debris being left at the sites. Souza urges visitors to treat these public spaces with a “carry in-carry out” mentality and reminds users that the barrels provided are solely for parkgoers. Between more mindful cleanup practices and the hands-on engagement opportunity with Pitch In Pails, the Town of Scarborough parks and beaches can be vibrant community spaces for all to enjoy while limiting environmental impact.

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