It took city crews nearly four hours to clean up the beach after Fourth of July beachgoers trashed Durand Eastman Beach.

It took city crews nearly four hours to clean up the beach after Fourth of July beachgoers trashed Durand Eastman Beach.

At 7 a.m., the first truck pulled up. By 9 a.m., crews had the bluff and picnic areas nearly picked up. It took until 11 a.m. to get most of the garbage off the beach.

“The beach takes longer because you have to have special transport vehicles that can go across the sand,” explained John Picone, the City of Rochester’s Director of Athletics & Aquatics.

He said the trash filled five trucks, nearing 5 tons of garbage.

5 tons of garbage removed from Durand Eastman Beach after 4th of July

“That’s a lot of garbage to clean up in a short amount of time,” he said. He explained that due to the heat, the beach was opening up early so crews wanted to have it cleaned before 11 a.m.

Picone said around 12,000 people packed onto the beach Wednesday night.

“The crews have their hands full, as they do every holiday. There are plenty of garbage bins, to a lot of people’s credit, they left [garbage] in big bags and had it ready for us in the morning. They made our job a little easier.”

But people enjoying the beach on Thursday morning agreed that people need to do more.

“We’re adults! There are quite a few trash cans around. If you don’t take care of it, [the beach] is going to be gross and we can’t come here anymore,” expressed Chris Hauptfleisch, as he was trying to enjoy the beach with his daughter.

Beer boxes, firework containers, charcoal bags, and full folding tables were among the litter.

“When I got here this morning, it looked like people just got up and left. There was a ton of trash. I was actually thinking to myself ‘I wish I had a trash bag so I could pick up,’” added Hauptfleisch.

“The city guys were here, a bunch of them, picking up so much trash. It looks amazing now in comparison, they worked really hard.”

He couldn’t believe the sight, but also couldn’t believe people would leave the beach like that. Other beachgoers agreed.

“They should be responsible to take things out that they bring it. It’s not someone else’s responsibility to clean it up,” said Gail Carmichael as she checked out the beach for the first time.

She added, “you wouldn’t do that in your own home and this is our home. It’s tragic. We’re hurting our oceans, our lakes, our lands.”

Littering will cost you $100 for your first offense in the City of Rochester, but it is often difficult to enforce. Because of that, the city is hoping to educate younger people on the importance of picking up after themselves.

“It’s an opportunity to pass along to the next generation how important it is to keep our parks clean so everyone can use them,” said Picone.

The Fourth of July isn’t the only day the beach gets trashed.

“If you come down here when dawn is breaking, there will be garbage. If you give us a few hours, we’ll have it cleaned up,” said Picone.

Those crews work 7 days a week to pick up the parks, but beachgoers beg one another to do their part in picking up garbage.