“We just passed did this stretch about two weeks ago, and I was like praying, I was actually hoping that we weren’t going to find garbage, but safely there you go,” said Kim-Marie Mullin, who moved to West Haven during the pandemic and is already finding ways to keep busy.
She and community members across the city have been stepping up to clean up trash.
“Mattresses, old appliances, lawnmowers. I can’t even tell you some of the things we found, gross stuff, that I don’t even want to mention on camera," said Mullin.
Mayor Nancy Rossi said the dumping has to stop.
“The issue is, is people do, I believe, come from out of town and they just throw stuff,” she said.
West haven police told NBC Connecticut that last month they applied for five illegal dumping arrest warrants for West Haven residents or people living in nearby towns.
They said investigating illegal dumping is a big focus of their community crime prevention tactics because of the ripple effect on the community, the cost to clean it up, and the contamination concern.
“A lot of the areas they could be not well lit or not well-traveled,” said Rossi, adding that the city is looking for solutions.
Meanwhile, city council members and concerned citizens have initiated cleanups in their district.
They said they’ll be watching out for those who aren’t following the law to keep the community they love clean.
“People just really need to start picking up after themselves and if they see something, say something,” said Mullin.
And for those visiting their shoreline this summer, they ask you show the same respect you would if you lived there.
“It is here to enjoy, but it’s not here to destroy. It’s just not,” said Rossi.