Dumpsters to be installed at Misquamicut to combat trash problem

Westerly residents have become concerned about the amount of trash left behind on Misquamicut State Beach. (WJAR)

Misquamicut State Beach sees more than 43,000 people during the summer season. They put about $44 million into state coffers, but they leave behind trash that spoils the beautiful beaches.

At the entrance to every state beach, visitors get a trash bag as part of the carry-in , carry-out policy that began in the early 1990s. But the bags are being left on the beach, filled with garbage.

"We're bitter about litter and we're here to talk about that today," Lt. Gov. Dan McKee said Wednesday after a meeting of state and local leaders at Misquamicut to address the problem.

McKee, the Misquamicut Business Association and local leaders are tired of the trash. Thanks to the state Department of Environmental Management they'll be making garbage disposals more convenient with no additional cost.

"The state has agreed to waive the tipping fees. Sen. (Dennis) Algiere and the town have come up with $6,000 to have the MBA … hire someone to monitor the recycling and the trash at the exit from the busy hours of about 1 in the afternoon to 7. That's the best we can come up with for this year, providing receptacles, getting someone to monitor it, and encouraging people to do something about litter and saying, there's no excuse now. You've got a place to put it," said Caswell Cooke Jr., executive director of the MBA.

The common complaint was that the exits of the state beach had no trash receptacles. Dumpsters and recycling compactors will be installed in the short-term.

Local leaders are hoping to sit down in the coming months to brainstorm long-term plans.

A maintenance worker said the Fourth of July week set a record at Misquamicut State Beach for visitors and, unfortunately, their garbage.

Workers collected four tons of trash from the beach last week.

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