Hundreds of pounds of garbage left behind at Durand Park

(WHAM photo)

ROCHESTER, NY (WHAM) - The cleanup began this morning as city employees went section-by-section, cleaning up the trash at Durand Eastman Park.

People who live nearby said, Thursday, it looked worse, and that it was a sea of garbage, picked up piece-by-piece.

“It makes me sad. I wish people would keep our parks and area clean,” said Tiffany Petranek.

“The bags were piled up all over the grass. Around the trash can, you saw some litter around the grass and near the water,” she said.

Trucks are piled up to the top with garbage. “Five one-ton trucks of garbage this morning,” said John Picone, Athletic and Aquatics Director for the City of Rochester.

Plates of food, along with wrappers and plastic, covered the grass.

“You could probably do more to encourage people to clean up after themselves,” said Michael Schlimmer.

It’s not a friendly sight for joggers like Schlimmer, who said tougher rules might force people to be more mindful of what they leave behind.

“I would say put out more garbage cans and maybe throw out a few tickets and get people to realize they should pick up,” he added.

City leaders say fines are in place. “Enforcement is the bottom line. It has to be enforced,” said Picone.

Much of the garbage was also left right on the beach's sand.

“People know it'll go into the water and pollute things. Bring your own garbage bag, it's not that hard,” said Taylor Bernunzio, who came to the park.

Rochester city officials say they prepare for busy holidays like the Fourth of July.

“We had over 12,000 people here and over 2,200 swimmers,” he added.

They are thankful for the people who cleaned up after themselves.

“There’s also people that had big Glad bags and ready for us to pick up. We really appreciate that,” he said.

City leaders said it took about 3 1/2 hours to clean up the park.

Officials put out more trash cans on holidays, and they have a program in place to teach kids not to litter.

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