LIVINGSTON, NJ — The streets of Livingston were lined with giant blue bags filled with garbage on Sunday when more than 350 volunteers participated in the township’s first annual community cleanup day, entitled “Pick it Up! Livingston.”
Mayor Shawn Klein said he looks forward to making this an annual event that will help to keep the town “clean, green and garbage-free.” He said that for many residents, himself included, this was an extremely rewarding experience.
“I think for a lot of people in town, this was a very special thing,” said Klein. “There were people who came up to me and almost expressed relief that they were able to do this. It was actually a really meaningful event for a lot of people and they felt like they accomplished something for their community.”
Klein added that Livingston mother-of-two Shira Rost, who organized the event alongside Cari Adelson, Diana Lyell, Barbara Pinkham, Hayley Prochazka and Alice Stein, “ran a great show” and expressed his gratitude to her team.
“I thought it went great this year, but there were lessons to learn and it’s going to be even better next year,” said Klein. “The police were amazing, the town did a great job setting everything up, we had help from the county, the state donated all of the equipment and it was very gratifying to not only help set this up but also participate in it.”
In addition to offering a safe, fun way for residents to help keep Livingston beautiful by clearing litter from designated outdoor spaces, "Pick it Up! Livingston" also provided an opportunity for volunteers to earn community service hours for their participation.
Location Team Leaders led dozens of volunteers at each cleanup site, which included West Hobart Gap Road; East Hobart Gap Road; Walnut Street & Eisenhower Parkway; Beaufort Avenue; Shrewsbury Avenue in Prospect Park; Shrewsbury Avenue in East Hills Park; Northfield Road up to Kiwanis; Livingston Senior/Community Center (204 Hillside Avenue); and Heritage Middle School (20 Foxcroft Drive).
Klein also said that the estimated 350 participants does not include the residents who helped out by cleaning up additional sites like the little league fields.
“At the places where there was a cleanup, every 30 yards there was a huge bag of garbage,” said Klein. “It’s amazing how much garbage there was and it was amazing how much of it was picked up.”
Participants noted that in addition to the litter, other items picked up included vehicle debris from various fender-benders, car tires, bones from deer and other animals, and even a turtle shell, which is pictured above.
The nearly two hours of garbage collection was followed by an after party near the gazebo at the Memorial Oval with food, activities and live music from local cover band PUNCH the Monkey.
The event was sponsored by Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Sotheby’s International Realty and Capital One.