Letter: This month’s Peninsula Sanitation bills include a new way to help keep our beaches clean

Help keep our beaches clean

You’ll find something new on your Peninsula Sanitation Service billing statement dated March 1 — a chance to help fund the dumpster costs and dump fees for our community beach cleanups.   

The financial facts of the Grass Roots Garbage Gang’s (GRGG) established beach cleanups are clear. We can find volunteers that donate their time, talents and resources over and over again. All at no cost to this community. They collect beach debris, they make signs, they distribute flyers and reader board info, they drive trucks, they spend hours coordinating, they cook and serve. What they do without pay just goes on and on.   

The real monetary costs are dumpster costs and dump fees that run about $5,000 each year. Cleanup organizers spend a lot of effort throughout the year begging for these funds for each cleanup.  

In previous years, various governmental groups have been able to cover these costs. We are ever grateful for the city of Long Beach, Marine Resource committee, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Washington State Parks Department for this. With budgets incredibly tight, some of these funding sources are drying up. Individual volunteers will be there to provide the labor needed for future community beach cleanups. Without funding for dumpster costs and dump fees starting in 2012, however, we cannot sustain our community beach cleanups in future years.  

Each of us can help prevent this. Years ago we mustered the community will to work together to clean up our beaches, annually pulling tons of trash off of our beach. Is it the will of this community to now see this effort end? By sending a second check with your payment to Peninsula Sanitation, you help build a reserve fund to sustain these community beach cleanups in 2012 and beyond. Make your second check payable to Peninsula Sanitation Service for the benefit of GRGG, and you become part of the community will that cares. Even more impressive, by ‘self funding’ the dumpster costs and dump fees, our community beach cleanup becomes totally a local effort. Every aspect of the cleanup is initiated and carried out by locals, one by one by one. We can each be very proud of that. If you pay your bill online, you can send a check directly to Peninsula Sanitation Service for Benefit of GRGG to their address. 

This partnership of Peninsula Sanitation Service and the GRGG didn’t happen lightly. While a private company, Peninsula Sanitation is regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. In order to set up a GRGG reserve account and gather funds through the billing process, Peninsula Sanitation Service and the GRGG approached the commission, who then approved the plans for this reserve account and the actual collection of funds. This assures that your funds are appropriately handled and that every penny goes directly to dumpster costs and dump fees.

Can we count on YOU?

My thanks to this whole community and Peninsula Sanitation Service.   

ELLEN ANDERSON

Ocean Park 

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