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Marquette Park cracks down on littering with new policy

In an effort to significantly reduce the amount of garbage that accumulates on the shoreline of Marquette Beach and in Lake Michigan, the City of Gary Parks Department has adopted a “Carry IN, Carry OUT” policy that will strictly enforce the city’s litter ordinance. The policy simply means what one takes in to the park, one will take out when they leave.

The Parks Department has removed trash containers that have been previously located on the beach to each of the beach’s access points. Parks Superintendent Nate George says, “Fifty (50) garbage bins and twenty-five (25) recycling bins will be placed at those designated points in Marquette Park. George added, “The Gary Beach Patrol will strictly enforce the policy and ticket and fine visitors who are littering according to the City of Gary’s littering policy.”

The City of Gary follows many State and National Parks across the country that have implemented a version of “Carry IN, Carry OUT,” including parks in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Washington DC.  Those who have implemented a policy are reporting a significant reduction in the amount of waste in their respective parks, saving financial resources and allowing their parks employees to work on projects that focus on creating a better experience for visitors.

Effective the Memorial Day weekend, visitors to Marquette Park were asked to dispose of trash they generate in bins located at designated entrances as they leave the beach. Trash receptacles will no longer be placed on the shoreline. The City will make trash bags available on site for patrons who need them. Ticket takers will supply trash bags when patrons pay to park.

Trash bins will be emptied on Fridays and Tuesdays and recycling bins will be emptied every Tuesday.  Additional pickups will be scheduled for holiday weekends and special events. City of Gary Parks Department employees will continually monitor the shoreline to recover any garbage that is left behind.  Employees will also monitor and empty any garbage bins that fill to capacity prior to the pickup days.

The goal of “Carry IN, Carry OUT” is to provide a more aesthetically pleasing beach experience without the visual eyesore of pollution via trash cans on the shoreline. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said, “We are working hard in our blight elimination efforts to rid our city of debris that is a direct contribution to the quality of our air, our drinking water, the impact on wildlife and to the amount of pollution that enters Lake Michigan. “Carry IN, Carry OUT” is a win-win; for our city workers and for all who come to enjoy our beautiful lakefront.”

The implementation of this policy will additionally reduce the amount of stinging insects, rodents, and other wildlife that prey on the open barrels, and will also allow City of Gary employees to spend more time improving other areas of Marquette Park.

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