Weekday Volunteers Beautify Red Bank Through ‘Pick It Up’ Program
RED BANK, NJ – This borough-based volunteer group aims to keep Red Bank squeaky clean – but it can’t do it alone.
Born out of a partnership between Red Bank Business Alliance and the Splendor Design Group, “Pick It Up” sponsors monthly cleanup events on the first Wednesday of each month around Red Bank borough and is looking for area residents to lend a hand.
The next cleanup date is scheduled for April 7 at 9 a.m. where volunteers can stroll through scenic downtown Red Bank for an hour while keeping the borough’s streets and sidewalks clean.
While Pick It Up initially began as an Earth Day project in April 2019, but it was quickly realized that a once-a-year cleanup is not often enough for the borough, according to Pick It Up founder Adam Taylor (who also owns Broad Street-based Splendor Design Group).
“It’s so easy to walk the streets for an hour and fill a bag with garbage. It seems every day the garbage re-appears, so we try to get out and encourage others to join us once a month,” Taylor told Patch. “Our small cleanup effort barely makes a dent. But if we open just one person’s eyes, and that person makes more responsible choices in the future, it makes it worth it. Plus I feel it’s our duty to do all we can to help keep it off the streets and from blowing into our water and food supplies.”
Pick It Up has quickly picked up steam in its first three years, with similar efforts in Fair Haven, Sea Bright and Little Silver. Taylor reports that he’s excited to watch the team gain momentum overtime and get as many residents involved as possible.
“I would love to see a Pick It Up team in every town in the country. Show me a town with literally no litter, and we can let them off the hook,” Taylor said. “Until then, we want to continue raising awareness, recruiting volunteers in our area, and reporting our collection data to help influence responsible behavior (among manufacturers, sellers and consumers).”
On April 7, the team will meet at the Buona Sera Parking Lot at the corner of Monmouth St. & Maple Ave. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves, friends and dogs. Trash bags and free T-shirts (while supplies last) will be provided. To register for the event, click here.
“What we really need are more team leaders who can rally some support and volunteers, as well as sponsors to buy bags, gloves, and our infamous green t-shirts,” Taylor said. “There’s something awesome about seeing our green army coming down the street with garbage bags and big smiles. It’s fun!”
Although Taylor reports that most if not all garbage collected by Pick It Up will inevitably make it to the oceans, he stresses the equal importance of raising awareness so that individuals twice before dropping a piece of garbage in the first place.
“Our mission is to bring awareness to the massive onslaught of garbage (particularly plastic) that hits the earth every day,” he said. “When you see the endless piles of garbage – literally everywhere, it becomes clear that human beings cannot be trusted to consume and dispose of garbage responsibly. So until we wake up to the destruction we are causing to the planet, and actually outlaw materials that cannot be reused or recycled, the best we can do is raise awareness.”