LIVINGSTON, NJ — An estimated 300 local volunteers helped line Livingston’s streets with garbage bags full of debris that they collected during the second annual “Pick it Up! Livingston” community-wide cleanup event on Sunday.
Volunteers of all ages, from high school clubs, to Boy Scout troops, to adult volunteer groups such as the Horseneck Motorcycle Riding Club, Sanskriti of NJ and more, registered as either groups or individuals to participate in the Earth Day initiative to help keep Livingston clean, green and garbage free.
“It was another feel-good Livingston day with a tremendous turnout of volunteers throughout all cross-sections of Livingston volunteering their time to making Livingston as pretty as it always is and really dedicating their time to helping clean up the town,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “The weather really helped us have a larger-than-expected turnout and it was just a great day for Livingston.”
The event is designed to be fun for all involved while also providing an opportunity to serve the township in a positive way. 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.
Team leaders directed dozens of volunteers at each cleanup site throughout town, including Hobart Gap Road, Northfield Avenue’s wooded area near Kiwanis, Laurel Avenue in Prospect Park, Foxcroft Drive near Heritage Middle School, Beaufort Avenue, Shrewsbury Avenue in East Hills Park and the wooded area near the Livingston Senior and Community Center.
In addition to the expected litter, other items picked up included vehicle debris from various fender-benders, car tires, bones from deer and other animals and more.
“We’re trying to be as clean and as environmentally friendly as possible, so the cleanup day will also tie into Arbor Day on Friday, where we’ll plant a tree like we do every year at the Oval,” said Meinhardt, who will be at the Oval at 10 a.m. on Friday to plant this year’s Arbor Day tree.
“It’s a great new tradition in Livingston and we’re looking forward to carrying it into the future,” said Councilman Shawn Klein, whom Meinhardt commended for helping to organize the annual event. “For people who care about their town and care about their environment and want to meet their neighbors, it’s a great event.”
Klein, who participated at the Hobart Gap Road cleanup site from Coventry Road to Nero’s Grille, said the crew at his location “worked like dogs,” and that he expects the other teams must have as well.
“We picked up so much garbage, and after a mile and change, everyone was just very excited and laughing when we were done,” said Klein. “It was a great event and there was a great sense of accomplishment.”
He added that the township owes a debt of gratitude to the organization committee, which was spearheaded once again by Shira Rost and also included residents Cari Adelson, Lisa Brodsky, Diana Lyell, Barbara Pinkham, Hayley Prochazka and Alice Stein. The team provided gloves, garbage bags, yellow vests and other necessities for the cleanup.
Gratitude was also extended to team leaders Andrew Babij, John Grillo, Chitra Maridi, Bridgette Nevola, Ratnakar Pingili, Rachel Khedouri, Ira Sessler, Jennifer Izen Rubenstein, Ashi Parikh and Min Wu as well as the Livingston Police Department for helping with traffic and safety throughout the event.