LIVINGSTON, NJ — After seeing a young man walking throughout the streets of Livingston with a trash bag, picking up litter along the way and placing it into proper waste receptacles, the Township of Livingston awarded a citation to Evan Anderson on Monday for helping to keep the township clean, promoting good waste-management practices and encouraging others to the same.

As a student at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, Anderson began picking up small pieces of trash from the ground as he walked across campus—initially in an effort to keep the trash away from animals after seeing videos acknowledging how litter has affected the lives of birds and marine animals.

His trash-collecting initiative became a habit upon graduation in May, and now he hopes to inspire others to help him spread that initiative in Livingston.

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“When [these animals] die, instead of seeing food, you see plastic bottle rings and all that,” said Anderson. “I thought that was terrible and that if I could just do this to keep the animals on my campus safe, I could do anything…

“It became a habit, I started doing it in my town and now I’m helping to bring this program with Troop 16 of Livingston to clean up some major areas I’ve noticed in town such as the woods by Winchester and Madonna…I hope to take my troop around, do more service projects with them and help clean up Livingston.”

Mayor Al Anthony, commending his efforts, said that it would be “tremendous” to see someone like Anderson “take the bull by the horns and really do it all year round.”

“We have Pick It Up! day, but I’ve always said that’s like a wedding day and we really need a marriage,” said Anthony, adding that Anderson’s efforts benefit both the environment and community in Livingston. “You’ve been doing some tremendous work around the township cleaning up garbage, trying to make a difference, beautifying our town—things that residents love to see."

The mayor also spoke about the recent establishment of an ad hoc plastics committee, which is currently discussing the feasibility of an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic within the township. Anthony said he looked forward to seeing a drafted ordinance from the committee in the coming months. Click HERE to read coverage from the committee's first meeting. 

In the meantime, Anthony told Anderson that the governing body appreciates all he has already done to help beautify the town and encouraged him to keep up the great work.