Cigarette butts make up most of trash BECQ collected in cleanup

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Posted on Jan 06 2020

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About 250 lbs of trash was collected by volunteers and staff of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality last Saturday during its Cleanup Brigade’s first cleanup activity of the year.

The group of 10 picked up trash from the Carolinian Utt to the Garapan Fishing Base, with cigarette butts making up majority of the trash they collected.
Saipan Southern High School chemistry teacher Roy Adsit, who has been volunteering for years and was part of Saturday’s cleanup, appeals to everyone to be responsible for their own trash.

“We love being out here, we love the beach, but it would be really nice if we could come out wander the beach and enjoy the beauty of Saipan trash-free,” said Adsit, who has been doing beach cleanups with his students for 19 years, and with SSHS, about 10 years.

Volunteers and staff of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality picked up about 250 lbs of trash from the Carolinian Utt to the Garapan Fishing Base last Saturday during its Cleanup Brigade’s first cleanup activity for the year. (Iva Maurin)

“We’ve noticed that where you can drive your car, there’s more trash, which seems backwards. Seems like if you had your car right there, you could just throw your trash right in, you can take it away. But it’s the opposite where people drive their cars. There’s more trash,” he noted.

Adsit said he picked up mostly unidentifiable plastic pieces and cigarette butts.

“People come up and they park, which is an ecological disaster. They just sit here and smoke and, instead of putting the cigarette butts in the ashtray, they just throw them on the ground. They poison everything around them because cigarettes are full of toxic chemicals,” he added.

Adsit also stressed the need for bathrooms, adding that they find too many oddly decomposed feminine hygiene products and piles of partially decomposed tissue paper.
Aside from these, volunteers also picked up beer cans and bottles, fast food wrappers, and used firecrackers.

Zabrina Shai, organizer of the cleanup, expressed appreciation to the volunteers and to the BECQ Storage Tanks and Site Assessment Remediation Branch for hosting the cleanup.
“Together, we make a difference,” Shai said. “Let us all be litter-free, CNMI. If you see trash, pick it up.”

The BECQ Cleanup Brigade meets every first Saturday of the month, at 8am, to clean up a pre-chosen location for two hours. If you want to volunteer, or for more information about volunteering, contact the BECQ office at 664-8500/1.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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