Volunteers arrived in the chilly rain at 8:30AM, but the weather clearly didn’t deter them, as more than 100 people came out to help, and the last of the group stayed until 2PM. Twenty four communities were represented, including Hyde Park, Boston, Milton, Quincy and Sharon.
Together, the volunteers tackled trash at seven locations, including the river itself through most of Hyde Park both upstream and downstream of the Martini Shell along Truman Highway. This year we also branched out to add new sites at River Street Terrace in Mattapan, and Hemenway Pond in Milton.
Many areas along the river were transformed as trash and brush were removed, especially at the River Street Terrace site. One cleanup team, walking in hip waders thru the river, used their canoes as barges to float multiple tires to a dump site. Other canoes were piled high with assorted debris. Long-time volunteers finally succeeded in clearing the perpetual log jam at B Street. (Yay!)
The inventory list below is mind-boggling. What are people thinking when they throw this stuff into the river?
Appliances – 4 analogue TV’s, floor lamp, 3 vintage telephones, big cable TV wire, computer cables, toaster
Auto Parts – 29+motor pieces, 2 carburetors, axle, 2 hub caps, muffler, drive shaft, front seat, firewall, dashboard, transmission, 2 bumpers, water pump, car front grill, car filter, fender, car door, lots of miscellaneous car pieces
Bikes – 6 bikes, bike frame, bike socket assembly
Buckets/Trash Barrels – 3
Cinder blocks – 4 Bricks – 45 plus one cemented brick wall
Gutters/drain pipes – 1
Furniture – 2 metal chair frames, bed frame, double bed spring
Lumber – Too numerous to count, large sheet of plywood, long wooden pole, lots of pieces of 2×4 painted boards 4’ long, 30’ tree, plus 39 pieces listed on one of the charts
Metal fencing – 44, plus, 12 three foot long wooden fence pieces, 8′ chain link fence
Metal rods, pipes, wire, sheet metal and PCV pipes – 9 plus 30’ of 4” PCV pipe, 4’ section of concrete pipe with a 4’ diameter, 7’ long pipe, many long sections of metal strips, lots of sections of 3-4’ plastic flexible pipes, large roll of copper wire, metal broom handle, 3 pieces of aluminum siding, tools, metal plates, and a lot of unidentifiable rusty objects
Miscellaneous – Old antique toy truck (NYLINT), ladies knock-off Gucci bag, flashlight, 2 large sheets of styrofoam, many scratched lottery tickets, gravy boat, large quilt, plastic wagon wheel with a 36” diameter, full bag of diapers, full garbage bag, piano key board, pair of shoes, large play car, wooden barrel
Paint cans, other toxic cans – 2
Shopping carts – 10 (most very old), plus 2 shopping baskets
Signs – 5 plus what was found behind Gerraghty apartments dumped onto State land. (View pictures)
Tires – 51 plus 6 rims, 1 inner tube (Some of these tires were from tractor trailer trucks. These cost $20 a piece to dispose of them)
Toilets/sinks – 3
Large heavy duty trash bags filled – 84 plus some inventories gave no count. One person said “a bazillion”, someone else said “too many to count”
There were also way too many cans and bottles to count.
To be noted: With the dam lowered, the water level around West Street was lower than ever before and some paddlers noticed 2 entire cars submerged, – probably for decades. State police will follow up.
Overall, despite the weather and abundance of trash, folks were excited and enthusiastic about cleaning the river, and many are motivated to do more. One regular volunteer said it’s time for him to buy a pair of chest waders so he can help clear the river once and for all. Others want to find a solution to prevent future dumping.
We are very appreciative of each of the volunteers who came out to help on a rainy Saturday! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
A giant thank you also goes to:
City of Boston DPW
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Stop & Shop
Rep. Angelo Scaccia’s Office
City Councilman Tim McCarthy’s Office
Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office, Dave McNulty, Liaison
NepRWA board and staff