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Burlington beaches see fewer 4th of July revelers

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The day after July 4th is typically clean-up day in Burlington.

Last year, despite there being no fireworks, thousands of beachgoers left behind tons of trash at the city’s North Beach, forcing the parks department to clean up their mess.

This year was a complete 180 from what we saw at the beach last year. It’s surprisingly very clean.

The Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department says it was actually “eerily quiet” at Burlington beaches the whole weekend.

Parks Department Director Cindi Wight says not a lot of people went to the beaches this weekend. She says that’s likely because of how cold and rainy it was. Of course, COVID is also a factor. Some people may not have felt safe going out in public this year, especially considering how crowded it was last year. Also, there were fewer visitors from Canada since the border is still closed.

“It was primarily the campers that were watching the fireworks because it wasn’t a beach day. It wasn’t a day to hang out by the beach. It was in the sixties. It was raining off and on, so we really didn’t have the issues at the beaches,” Wight said.

The parks department also brought in some extra help this year to ensure the beaches stayed clean. The city hired a sustainability vendor called Waste Free Earth to walk around Waterfront Park and Perkins Pier throughout the weekend and pick up any litter they came across.

“They’re watching all of the garbage, landfill, compost and recycling stations to make sure everything is being put in the correct spot. And they actually then separate it all out to make sure it’s all going to the right place. So therefore we end up, at the end of the night, with a lot less trash on the ground, many ways because they’ve been picking it up throughout the day,” White said.

Although July 4th was not a beach day, Wight says there will be plenty of beach days this summer.

The department urges beachgoers to clean up after themselves and keep Burlington’s beaches and parks beautiful and healthy.

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